Difference Between Bank Guarantee and SBLC

Bank guarantee is a statement from a lending institute to ensure that the debtor will be able to fulfill his/her liabilities. Bank guarantee simply makes the bank liable to meet the obligations of the person in case he/she fails to make the payment.


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Whereas a Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC) is also a type of guarantee made by a lending institution for the same purpose, i.e., to meet the liabilities of the debtor in case he/she fails to make the payment. There are some differences and similarities between the two terms, but they are not alike.

Both bank guarantee and standby letter of credit act as an assurance to the creditor that he/she will receive the payment. These requests to the bank are treated as loans and are given based on the debtor’s credibility.

Bank Guarantee vs SBLC

The difference between Bank Guarantee and SBLC is that bank guarantee provides dual protection, both to the seller and the buyer, unlike SBLC.

Bank guarantee vs Sblc


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonBank GuaranteeSBLC
ScopeBank Guarantee has a broader scope.SBLC has a limited scope.
DurationIt is preferred in the case of both long-term and short-term contracts.It is mostly used for long-term contracts.
UsageIt is used mostly for domestic and international transactions.It is used in international trade transactions.
ProtectionProtection is provided by a single bank.Protection is provided by the issuing and third-party bank.
InsuredIt has risk coverage for both the buyer and the seller if the changes are asked for.It only covers the risk of the beneficiary, i.e., the insured.
CoverageIt covers only the financial aspect of the transaction.It also covers the non-financial factors that affect performance.


What is Bank Guarantee?

A bank guarantee is typically a statement from the bank to take over the liabilities of the insured in the event of failure to make payment. It is similar to a loan.

It is of two types – Direct and Indirect. Direct bank guarantees are used in case of international transactions where the bank protects only the person the guarantee has been given to. These are preferred in case of international transactions as they are flexible and compatible with foreign norms.

An indirect bank guarantee is preferred by firms that are into exporting business. This is because it protects two banks, which is mostly a foreign bank.

Bank guarantees enable firms to lower their financial risk and conduct transactions that might help them to expand their businesses. There are basically two types of bank guarantees – Financial guarantee and Performance guarantee.

bank guarantee

What is SBLC?

SBLC was first introduced by the US. Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC/SLOC) is similar to a bank guarantee as it protects the buyer in case of default at the time of payment by covering his/her liability. It works on the principle of uberrimae fidei, which means utmost good faith.

SLBC costs 1% -10% of the value of the amount guaranteed per year. In SBLC, a bank only pays in the worst-case scenario because it is the lender of last resort. It is mostly used in long-term contacts.

It can be discounted like a letter of credit, and the seller can get paid beforehand as well. It is a very flexible tool and is used widely in international transactions as it provides more security due to the involvement of two banks.

Similar to the bank guarantee, SBLC is also of two types, financial and performance. Financial SBLC focuses on ensuring that the payment is made.


Main Differences Between Bank Guarantee and SBLC

  1. Bank guarantee has risk protection for both the buyer and seller, whereas SBLC only protects the beneficiary.  
  2. Bank guarantee involves only a single bank, whereas SBLC involves a third-party bank as well, which is usually a foreign bank.
  3. Bank guarantee has a broad scope as it can be used for both short-term and long-term transactions. SBLC is mostly preferred for long term transactions.
  4. Bank guarantee is used for both domestic and international transactions, whereas SBLC is preferred for international transactions.
  5. Bank guarantee only covers the financial aspect of the guarantee. SBLC covers both financial and non-financial aspects of the guarantee.


  1. https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/handle/10438/20172
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/edb1/dcd00985ce0780578fec3b1106b6def02fad.pdf
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