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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Standby letters of credit and fraud Sigrist, Pierre


During the last ten years, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of cases involving incidents of fraud in standby letters of credit. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the effect of fraud on standby letters of credit transactions. This study principally deals with standby letters of credit issued under the 1983 Revision of the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits, drafted by the International Chamber of Commerce, which is a set of internationally recognized rules for documentary credit operations. Due to the international character of letters of credit law, I have adopted a comparative approach that deals with materials from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany and Switzerland. This thesis will first show that there are two types of standby letters of credit, which have to be distinguished because they involve different obligations and risks for the parties. A device payable against the beneficiary's simple statement will be described as a "simple statement" standby credit, whereas a device payable against a set of documents will be called a "documentary" standby credit. The thesis will then demonstrate why the treatment of fraud should not be the same for "simple statement" standby credits and "documentary" standby credits.

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