Trade Finance

Trade Finance is a specialised form of working capital finance, designed to support businesses engaged in importing or exporting goods. It bridges the cash flow gap between purchasing inventory and receiving payment from customers.
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Check your eligibility for trade finance with our online form without affecting your credit score.

Loan Example:




6 months

Interest Rate

from 1.25% per month (15% APR)

Monthly Repayment

approx. £8,702

Total Repayable


*This loan example is for illustrative purposes only. All finance and quotes are subject to status and income. Click here to check your eligibility to receive options tailored to your circumstances.

How It Works

This financing typically operates on a confirmed order basis, allowing businesses to purchase stock needed to fulfill customer orders. It's particularly useful for businesses that deal with international trade and have to manage longer supply chains.

Eligibility and Application

Suitable for wholesalers, distributors, importers, and exporters. Key considerations for eligibility include a solid trading history, a credible supply chain, and established end-buyers. The focus is on the potential growth from the transaction and the reliability of all parties involved.


Trade finance enables businesses to grow without needing significant reserves of working capital. It allows for quicker shipping of goods and alleviates the pressure of upfront payments to suppliers. This form of finance can often be used alongside other financial solutions, like invoice finance.

Interest Rates and Terms

Interest rates typically range between 1.25% and 3% per 30 days, depending on the size of the order and the risk profile of the transaction. The cost may also be influenced by factors like credit protection and the reputations of the supplier and buyer.


Can be used for a variety of trading scenarios, whether importing, exporting, or both. It's effective for businesses looking to take on larger orders than their current working capital allows.

Trade Finance with Invoice Finance

Combining trade finance with invoice finance can address both the initial cash flow challenge of paying suppliers and the subsequent waiting period for customer payments. This combination ensures a smoother financial operation across the entire sales cycle.

Lender Landscape

The market includes a mix of mainstream banks and specialist lenders. While banks may offer more competitive rates, they typically serve well-established businesses. Specialist lenders offer more flexibility and may cater to a broader range of businesses.

Frequently asked questions

What is trade finance?

Trade finance refers to financial instruments and products used by companies to facilitate international trade and commerce. It helps bridge the payment gap between the purchase and sale of goods.

Who can benefit from trade finance?

This type of finance is particularly beneficial for importers, exporters, wholesalers, and distributors engaged in international trade who need to manage payment terms and cash flow effectively.

What types of trade finance are available?

Common types include letters of credit, trade credit insurance, export finance, and import finance. Each is designed to mitigate the risks associated with international trade.

How does trade finance work?

Trade finance provides funding to cover the cost of goods before they are shipped and sold. For example, it can pay suppliers upfront for a business to procure goods, which are then sold and repaid to the financier.

What is the typical duration for trade finance?

The terms can vary but are usually aligned with the trade cycle, often ranging from 30 days to one year, depending on the complexity of the transaction.

Is collateral required for trade finance?

In many cases, the goods being traded serve as collateral. However, some forms of trade finance may require additional security.

What documents are required for trade finance?

Businesses typically need to provide purchase orders, sales contracts, shipping documents, and sometimes financial statements.

Can trade finance be combined with other financial products?

Yes, it’s common to use trade finance in conjunction with other products like invoice finance to manage the entire trade cycle more effectively.

What are the costs associated with trade finance?

Costs vary depending on the product and the risk involved. Interest rates and fees are based on factors like the transaction size, duration, and the creditworthiness of the parties involved.

What risks does trade finance mitigate?

It helps mitigate risks such as currency fluctuations, non-payment by buyers, political instability, and the creditworthiness of the trading partners.

Get trade finance

Limited companies can receive a loan decision without impacting their credit score. This allows you to evaluate your options without worry.

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