UK Export Finance

A department and a business

UKEF's mission is to benefit the UK economy by helping exporters of UK goods and services to win business, by providing financial guarantees and insurance for export contracts. It issues around £2.9 billion of guarantees every year, insuring UK banks and exporters against the risk of non-payment and enabling them to offer finance at fixed interest rates; overall we have around £19 billion of risk to manage. Uniquely UKEF operates within a commercial insurance and banking framework, but is subject to public sector goals and accountabilities.

Operational research in UKEF

The OR unit plays a crucial part in helping UKEF deliver the mission. OR staff work closely with managers and colleagues across the Department, and have built a reputation for providing high-quality, reliable and relevant analysis and advice. UKEF is currently undergoing enormous change as its cuts costs and implements leading-edge risk management techniques, and the OR programme of work reflects this.

Examples of OR work in the last year include:

  • Developing large scale Monte Carlo simulation models to quantify the financial risks of UKEF’s £19bn credit portfolio and supporting interfaces to UKEF’s corporate information systems.
  • Developing a new pricing and case management system (used to calculate premium rates on every new deal and to store details of transactions).
  • Providing testing resource to a large IT project developing a new data warehouse for UKEF.
  • Project managing a number of IT and business change projects.

What to expect

We normally work interactively with colleagues, helping not just with providing quantitative analysis but also with problem-structuring, identifying and questioning assumptions, and setting objectives. Newcomers to the Department don't need a financial background, as training is provided; but an interest in finance and business, and in working with the people who provide UKEF's service, is essential.

The OR unit is a friendly and supportive group of 10 staff, based at UKEF's Head Office, in a modern building in London Docklands with splendid views over London and good staff facilities.