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When you are considering selling overseas, the key concern is whether you will get paid and how quickly. Whether you use letters of credit, documentary collections, or open account, a Bank of the West Trade specialist can assist you in structuring your transaction to minimize risk of non-payment.
Our Trade and Financing Services
Export letters of credit
An export letter of credit can reduce the risk of non-payment, particularly when selling to a new buyer. We can assist you in getting paid as quickly as possible by both advising your export letter of credit and processing conforming documentation required by the letter of credit. In the event you are not comfortable with the buyer's bank, Bank of the West can add its confirmation to the letter of credit, thereby assuming the risk and further assuring you of payment.
Standby letters of credit
When you are asked to provide a standby letter of credit as security for open account purchases, or a bid or performance bond for a domestic or international contract, we can assist you with expert advice on the wording of these documents.
BOW Trade services: online export letter of credit advising and direct collections
Our web-based letter of credit advising service allows you to receive the text of a letter of credit, or an amendment, in SWIFT format directly to your computer. The system's extensive reporting capabilities enable you to keep track of all letters of credit advised to you. If you use export documentary collections, you can generate the appropriate Bank of the West cover letter to send your shipping documents directly to the buyer's bank. The system will then alert Bank of the West of your transaction, and will record the information. Payments for the collection will be tracked and credited to your account as soon as received.
If you have a well-established relationship with your buyer, you can reduce costs by using documentary collections instead of a letter of credit. Bank of the West can then assist in streamlining the process. We will send your shipping documents along with a sight or time draft to the buyer's bank with instructions to collect. You retain control of the goods until such time as the buyer has either paid for, or accepted, the draft. The foreign bank releases the documents to the buyer, and the payment is credited to your Bank of the West account.
If you use sight export letters of credit for payment, Bank of the West can provide an export FastPay line of credit. This gives you the advantage of a short-term advance to bridge the gap between presentation of conforming documents and receipt of payment. You avoid payment delays from issuing banks, as well as boost your cash flow by 10 to 30 days.
Transferable letters of credit
You can leverage your buyer's credit with his bank by requesting that the export letter of credit be transferable. Bank of the West will advise the letter of credit to you, and you can then apply to have the entire amount, or a portion, transferred to the supplier. The transferred portion of the letter of credit provides the supplier with assurance of payment.
Authorization to Pay
This convenient service simplifies the process of paying for export goods, and is ideally suited when you have an established relationship with the supplier. Once you have shipped under an export letter of credit and payment has been received, Bank of the West will forward the approved funds under the Authorization to Pay to the supplier's designated bank.
Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee Program
Exporters are often in need of pre-shipment working capital. Bank of the West can assist by structuring a line of credit that allows you to borrow against your trading assets, including work in process, at attractive advance rates. The Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee Program offers a 90% guarantee to Bank of the West. We, in turn, issue advances against your foreign receivable and export-bound inventory.
Ex-Im Bank Medium Term Insurance Program
Under this program, U.S. equipment manufacturers exporting goods to developing countries can offer prospective buyers three-to-five year financing terms at attractive rates. Bank of the West can also structure this program directly for foreign buyers of U.S.-manufactured equipment.
Foreign Accounts Receivable Insurance
You can become more competitive with foreign sales by offering open account terms to your buyers. Foreign credit insurance allows you to protect your export accounts receivable against political and commercial risks and, if needed, can serve as collateral against borrowing. Bank of the West can assist you in finding the most suitable coverage.