Standby Letter of Credit(SBLC)

The standby letter of credit serves a different function than the commercial letter of credit. The commercial letter of credit is the primary payment mechanism for a transaction. The standby letter of credit serves as a secondary payment mechanism. A bank will issue a standby letter of credit on behalf of a customer to provide assurances of his ability to perform under the terms of a contract between the beneficiary. The parties involved with the transaction do not expect that the letter of credit will ever be drawn upon.

The standby letter of credit assures the beneficiary of the performance of the customer’s obligation. The beneficiary is able to draw under the credit by presenting a draft, copies of invoices, with evidence that the customer has not performed its obligation. The bank is obligated to make payment if the documents presented comply with the terms of the letter of credit. Standby letters of credit are issued by banks to stand behind monetary obligations, to insure the refund of advance payment, to support performance and bid obligations, and to insure the completion of a sales contract. The credit has an expiration date.