DEFINITION of 'Leased Bank Guarantee'

A bank guarantee that is leased to a third party for a specific fee. The issuing bank will conduct due diligence on the creditworthiness of the customer looking to secure a bank guarantee, then lease a guarantee to that customer for a set amount of money and over a set period of time, typically less than two years. The issuing bank will send the guarantee to the borrower's main bank, and the issuing bank then becomes a backer for debts incurred by the borrower, up to the guaranteed amount.

BREAKING DOWN 'Leased Bank Guarantee'

Leased bank guarantees tend to be very expensive; fees can run as high as 15% of the guarantee amount every year. The fee is usually made up of an initial setup fee and an annual fee, both of which will be a percentage of the dollar amount to be "guaranteed", or covered by the issuing bank in the event that the company can't promptly pay its debts.

This option for financial backing is typically only used by smaller enterprises that are desperate to expand operations or fund a specific project; they will have typically exhausted other opportunities to raise financing or obtain a letter of credit from their own bank.

Many top worldwide banks will lease bank guarantees, usually with a minimum amount of $5 million to $10 million, all the way up to $10 billion and more.

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