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Letters of Credit

With Barclays’ expertise in letters of credit, you can trade in new markets or with new partners with confidence. We provide the documentary support to ensure timely payment or delivery and strengthen your trading relationships.

What is a letter of credit?

Letter of Credit services allow you to trade with confidence by providing certainty that you’ll be paid for goods you export – or supplied with goods that you’ve paid for.

What can letters of credit do for your business?

  • When you enter into new relationships with buyers or suppliers in emerging markets you want to be sure you can trade safely
  • Gives you the reassurance of a secure, globally recognised method of settling overseas trade
  • Offers flexibility as we can match your letter of credit to your business needs, to any amount and to any freely traded currency
  • Allows you to strengthen your trading relationships by offering better credit terms to overseas buyers if you are exporting goods
  • Enables you to negotiate improved credit terms if you are importing goods, thereby improving your cashflow
  • Subject to the International Chamber of Commerce’s rules for documentary credits, giving the reassurance of worldwide standards.

Why Barclays Corporate letters of credit solutions?

Using our global network of offices and specialists, we can work with your buyers’ banks or your suppliers to draw up letters of credit to support your export and import activity in any market.


A good way to mitigate risk and potentially improve terms is to use letters of credit when both importing and exporting. The key risks to consider when importing will the goods be on time and are they the right quality, by paying upfront or giving a deposit will you get your goods.

If you're exporting will you get paid on time will you lose control of the goods and never hear from the buyer again. A letter of credit is a promise by a bank the payment will be made as long as the right goods are shipped at the right time with the right paperwork it therefore protects both the buyer and the seller to mitigate potential risks.

How can letters of credit save you money? If you're importing against a letter of credit you may be able to extend the payment date as the supplier has a bank promise. This may reduce the need to borrow. If you are exporting a letter of credit can help exporters enter new markets and sell to new buyers which can help cash flow, without the need for a facility. At Barclays, we have specialist teams that are available to help you structure the instrument that will best suit you and your client’s needs.

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