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The Difference Between a Letter of Credit on Margin and a Fully Backed Letter of Credit

3 min readMay 26

Ever been baffled by financial jargon? Have letters of credit (LCs) ever thrown you for a loop? Today, we’re going to clarify a couple of terms and explain the differences between a letter of credit on margin and a fully backed letter of credit. Buckle up for an insightful journey!

Basics of Letter of Credit

Definition of Letter of Credit

A letter of credit is a promise from a bank to a third-party beneficiary, usually an international seller, to pay a specified amount on behalf of the bank’s customer, provided the terms and conditions in the LC have been met. Intriguing, isn’t it?

Types of Letter of Credit

There are various types of LCs available, including sight, deferred payment, confirmed, unconfirmed, revocable, irrevocable, standby, and revolving. However, today we’ll be focusing on two specific types: fully backed LC and LC on margin.

Detailed Explanation of Fully Backed Letter of Credit

A fully backed letter of credit is an LC where the issuer guarantees the entire amount. It’s as straightforward as it sounds!

Advantages of Fully Backed Letter of Credit

The primary advantage of a fully backed LC is the complete security it offers to the beneficiary. The issuing bank pledges to cover the entire payment, ensuring the beneficiary is paid in full.

Disadvantages of Fully Backed Letter of Credit

The main disadvantage is that it ties up a significant amount of funds, which can limit the applicant’s liquidity.

Detailed Explanation of Letter of Credit on Margin

In a letter of credit on margin, the buyer only needs to deposit a percentage of the total amount, referred to as the ‘margin’. The remaining amount is covered by the bank.

Advantages of Letter of Credit on Margin


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