Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Advising Bank

A bank operating in the seller’s country that handles letters of credit on behalf of a foreign bank.

Exploring the Role of Advising Bank in International Trade Transactions

In the intricate world of international trade, financial institutions play a crucial role in facilitating transactions and mitigating risks for buyers and sellers across borders. Among these institutions, the "Advising Bank" serves as a key intermediary in documentary credit transactions, providing essential services to both exporters and importers. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the Advising Bank, including its definition, functions, and significance in international trade.

Understanding the Advising Bank

The Advising Bank, also known as the "Notifying Bank" or "Confirming Bank," is a financial institution appointed by the issuing bank in a documentary credit transaction to notify the beneficiary (seller/exporter) of the credit terms and conditions. While the issuing bank is primarily responsible for issuing the documentary credit, the Advising Bank acts as an intermediary to ensure proper communication and documentation between the parties involved.

Functions of the Advising Bank

The Advising Bank performs several essential functions in international trade transactions, including:

1. Notification: The primary function of the Advising Bank is to notify the beneficiary (seller/exporter) of the documentary credit issued by the issuing bank. Upon receipt of the credit, the Advising Bank verifies its authenticity and promptly notifies the beneficiary of the credit terms and conditions.

2. Verification: The Advising Bank verifies the authenticity and accuracy of the documentary credit received from the issuing bank, ensuring that it conforms to the terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties involved. This verification process helps prevent fraud and discrepancies in the transaction.

3. Documentation: The Advising Bank assists the beneficiary in preparing and presenting the required documentation in accordance with the terms of the documentary credit. This may include commercial invoices, bills of lading, packing lists, certificates of origin, and other relevant documents as specified in the credit.

4. Payment Handling: In some cases, the Advising Bank may handle payment or negotiation of documents on behalf of the beneficiary. Upon presentation of compliant documents, the Advising Bank may effect payment to the beneficiary or forward the documents to the issuing bank for reimbursement.

5. Communication: The Advising Bank serves as a channel of communication between the issuing bank, the beneficiary, and other parties involved in the transaction. It facilitates the exchange of information, instructions, and documents to ensure smooth and efficient processing of the documentary credit.

Significance of the Advising Bank

The Advising Bank plays a significant role in international trade transactions for several reasons:

1. Risk Mitigation: By verifying the authenticity of the documentary credit and ensuring compliance with its terms, the Advising Bank helps mitigate risks for both the beneficiary and the issuing bank, reducing the likelihood of fraud, errors, and disputes in the transaction.

2. Documentation Compliance: The Advising Bank assists the beneficiary in preparing and presenting the required documentation in accordance with the credit terms, ensuring compliance with regulatory and legal requirements governing international trade.

3. Facilitating Communication: As a trusted intermediary, the Advising Bank facilitates communication and coordination between parties involved in the transaction, fostering transparency, trust, and confidence in the trade relationship.

4. Enhancing Access to Finance: For exporters, the involvement of an Advising Bank in a documentary credit transaction may enhance access to finance and credit facilities, as the bank's confirmation or endorsement of the credit may provide additional assurance to financing institutions.


In conclusion, the Advising Bank plays a vital role in international trade transactions by facilitating communication, verifying documentation, and mitigating risks for exporters and importers. As a trusted intermediary appointed by the issuing bank, the Advising Bank ensures proper notification and documentation of documentary credits, thereby enhancing efficiency, transparency, and security in cross-border trade. Exporters and importers must understand the functions and significance of the Advising Bank to leverage its services effectively and navigate the complexities of international trade with confidence and reliability.