letter of credit(redirected from letters of credit)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Letter of credit (LOC)
Letter of Credit
letter of credit
letter of credita document used to effect payment for internationally traded goods, usually as part of a contract for the sale of goods which ensures that the supplier receives prompt and guaranteed payment while the purchaser obtains a short-term CREDIT line. In brief, under this facility, a purchaser in country A of goods supplied by a firm in country B can arrange a letter of credit from his bank (the credit issuing bank) authorizing it to make payment to the supplier either through a branch of the bank in country B or, more usually, through a bank (the negotiating bank) holding the supplier's account. Under a contract of sale of goods this will be done on the presentation to the negotiating bank of documents stipulated in the letter of credit, such as the bill of lading, insurance policy, certificate of origin, etc. In the case of certain letters of credit relating to particular transactions and customers located in heavily indebted countries, a secondary market has developed to offset political as well as commercial risk. See EXPORTING.
letter of credit (LOC)
(Pronounce each letter of the abbreviation;it is not pronounced as a word.) An instrument issued by a bank or other financial institution (issuer) agreeing that it will pay money to another (beneficiary), on behalf of the bank's customer (account party), upon the happening of certain named events.There is usually an issuance fee of 1 to 2 percent of the face amount of the LOC.Modern banking regulations require the same underwriting as for a commercial loan.The LOC will set out the exact prerequisites to be met before the bank will issue payment. These usually include a particular time and place to present the original letter of credit and the exact documents that must accompany the letter.Some states still follow the old “strict compliance”rule holding that any deviation from the instructions, no matter how minor, will justify the bank in refusing to pay. Others follow a “substantial compliance” rule, so that minor typographical or syntax errors in the presenting documents will not justify nonpayment. See also the two types of letters of credit: documentary letter of credit and standby letter of credit.