Stand by Letter of Credit

S tandby letters of credit (SBLC) are often used in international trade transactions, such as the purchase of goods from another country. The seller will ask for a standby letter of credit, which can be cashed on demand if the buyer fails to make payment by the date specified in the contract.

A Standby Letter of are written obligations of an issuing bank to pay a sum of money to a beneficiary on behalf of their customer in the event that the customer does not pay the beneficiary. It is important to note that standby letters of credit apply only whenever the issuing bank’s commitment to pay is not contingent on the existence, validity and enforceability of its customer’s obligation.

Assignment of Standby letter of credit (SBLC) proceeds -The beneficiary can assign the proceeds of a standby letter of credit. But this assignment does not assign the rights of the beneficiary as “drawer” on the standby letter of credit, and only the beneficiary may exercise the “drawer” rights and present the demand for payment under the terms of the standby letter of credit unless the terms of the instrument provide otherwise. This means that the assignee may receive the proceeds of the standby, but in order to obtain those proceeds the beneficiary must first make the demand for payment. An assignment of proceeds requires notice to the issuing bank of this action; otherwise the issuing bank would pay the beneficiary rather than the assignee.

The parties to the standby letter of credit

(1) The Applicant. This is the customer of the bank who applies to the bank for the standby letter of credit. He must provide collateral to the bank or have sufficient credit to induce the bank to issue the instrument. He also must pay the bank a fee for issuing the instrument.

(2) The Issuing Bank. This is the applicant’s bank that issues the standby letter of credit.

(3) The Beneficiary. This is the party in whose favour the instrument is issued.

(4) Confirming Bank. This is a bank (usually located near the beneficiary) that agrees (confirms) to pay the beneficiary rather than have the issuing bank pay the beneficiary. The beneficiary pays the Confirming Bank a fee for this convenience. The Confirming Bank then collects from the Issuing Bank the amount paid to the beneficiary.

(5) Advising Bank. This is the bank that represents the beneficiary. It may accept the letter of credit on behalf of the beneficiary and collect on it on behalf of the beneficiary. In order for the transaction to be a bank-to-bank transaction, the advising bank works for the beneficiary to keep the instrument in the banking system.

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