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This session will take an in-depth look at how standby letters of credit work and the reasons they sometimes don’t. Participants will learn how to protect themselves against non-payment.
Many people think of standby letters of credit as nearly equivalent to cash. What they don’t realize is that many letters of credit don’t get paid when called upon. Most often this is due to misunderstanding how standbys work and then failing to present the documents correctly; indeed, occasionally it is not even possible to present the documents that are called for. Sometimes it is because the bank that issued the standby is ordered not to pay by a court either because the customer has gone bankrupt and payment is deemed a preference (exactly what you thought the standby was protecting you against) or because the customer claims you have no right to the payment and has managed to get an injunction. And sometimes it is because the bank that issued the standby has been declared insolvent and the regulators (e.g., the FDIC) have repudiated the standby.