Standby Letters of Credit

Standby letters of credit (L/Cs) offer a flexible financing tool your business can use to support a variety of payment or performance obligations. Standby L/Cs can simplify and streamline a wide range of financial transactions and enhance your credit standing in the process.


For your overseas shipments, standby L/Cs issued for your account can support your shipment obligations to the buyers and standby L/Cs issued in your favor can support the payment obligations of such buyers. For your incoming shipments, standby L/Cs issued for your account can support your payment obligations to the sellers and standby L/Cs issued in your favor can support the shipment obligations of the sellers to you. Standby L/Cs can also be used to support business or personal contracts, surety bonds, bid bonds, insurance obligations and various other financial instruments.


Standby L/Cs set up obligations (similar to contract obligations) between the issuing banks and the L/C beneficiaries to support the obligations of the L/C applicants to such beneficiaries, but standby L/Cs are independent from the underlying contracts or agreements between the applicants and the beneficiaries. Subject to credit approval.


How you benefit

  • New business opportunities. A standby L/C can give you the financial backing you need to pursue business opportunities that might not be available otherwise.

  • Real-time, electronic L/C initiation. By working with First Financial, you can control and streamline the issuance process and receive comprehensive L/C status reports.

  • Lower costs. Standby L/Cs cost less than insurance bonds and are generally less expensive than posting a cash deposit to meet the terms of a project or bid. Standby L/Cs also save you time and money in arranging your sales and negotiating your sales and other contracts.

  • Professional expertise. First Financial’s experienced standby L/C specialists can help you find and use the services that best meet your financial requirements. Our centralized standby L/C unit offers a single point of contact for answering questions, handling special requests, and delivering up-to-the-minute status reports on your standby L/Cs.

  • Worldwide acceptance. First Financial has teamed up with Wells Fargo Bank resulting in an excellent global reputation, which ensures that these standby L/Cs are accepted universally.

Subject to credit approval

Commercial Import Letters of Credit

If you are an importer requiring letter of credit (L/C) services, we can help streamline your overseas transactions and reduce both your risks and costs. A commercial import L/C issued through First Financial Bank ensures that you won’t have to pay for the goods you import until they are shipped and that all documents are verified and in order. Also, by offering your supplier protection against cancellation, an L/C may help you get a lower price.


Backed with the guarantee and financial resources of First Financial Bank, our commercial import L/C service can help you broaden your supplier base and gain more control over the payment process.


How you benefit

  • Guaranteed service and timeliness. If we receive your commercial import L/C application by noon and all information is in order, we’ll have your L/C issued by 5:00 p.m.

  • Electronic L/C initiation. With TradeXchange, our Internet-based L/C solution, First Financial can help you streamline and control the application and issuance process. TradeXchange allows us to request your L/Cs in real time and provide you with comprehensive L/C status reports.

  • Professional trade finance expertise. If you have a transaction that requires additional credit or a different financing method, contact our trade finance associates. They can help you select and structure your international transactions to minimize risks and costs.

  • Single point of contact. A single trade professional is assigned to your account, providing up-to-the-minute status information and helping you closely manage your open L/Cs.

  • Worldwide acceptance. First Financial has teamed up with Wells Fargo Bank resulting in an excellent global reputation, which ensures that these commercial import L/Cs are accepted universally.

Foreign Exchange

The international payments markets can be a vast and confusing place.  First Financial Bank can help you better understand it and help you more effectively navigate you business through it.  We offer an array of Foreign Exchange products from immediate cash payments to forward settled payment transactions. 


Do you transact with any foreign counterparties?  Do you pay in foreign currency or in USD?

Have you ever asked your foreign supplier for invoices in their local currency?

Have your foreign customers ever asked to be invoiced in their local currency? 

Have you ever considered actively managing the related exchange rate risk and / or have you ever considered the costs in not doing so?

Are you purchasing or selling goods or services for future dated deliveries?


If you answered yes to any of these questions our International Services Group can help.  Our International services professionals will help you evaluate your current international payment relationships’ and will help you put in place optimal payment structures, saving you both time and money.  Contact your local First Financial Bank representative for more information.


How you benefit

  • Save Money. FX wires may be subject to lower wire fees than International USD wires as well as reduced or even eliminated international bank processing (lifting) fees

  • Reduce FX Risk. By making a payment in foreign currency, your clients can lock in the exchange rate and know the full cost of the transaction before the wire is even sent

  • Accelerate Delivery. By making a payment in foreign currency, your clients do not need to wait for the foreign bank and / or the intermediaries to accept the USD and then convert it to the local currency

  • Gain Competitive Advantage. By dealing in foreign currency, your client has the potential to negotiate a more favorable price for the goods/services 

  • Guaranteed service and timeliness. Call one of our trade execution phone lines and a courteous trade professional will answer and help you with your foreign exchange transaction.

  • Worldwide acceptance. First Financial has teamed up with Wells Fargo Bank resulting in an excellent global reputation, which ensures that your foreign exchange transactions will be professionally handled from execution to settlement.

St. Mary Parish

“When you find a bank that is concerned with your well-being as much as their own, you know you have a great fit.”

All loans subject to credit approval

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