ISP98 Charts a Different Path to Successful Practice Rules

From Concept to Adoption: the genesis and global impact of ISP98 in international banking law & practice.

ISP98 Charts a Different Path to Successful Practice Rules

In the early 1990s, I was invited to a meeting by Mike Quinn, my boss at Citibank, and introduced to Jim Byrne of the Institute of International Banking Law & Practice (IIBLP) who explained a project he was working on and looking for support and assistance in locating a meeting room for regular meetings of 20-30 people several times a year. Those involved in the project would be lawyers and bankers who were experts on standby letters of credit to create a set of practice rules uniquely designed for standby LCs similar to the ICC’s UCP rules intended for commercial letters of credit. Shortly thereafter, Citibank agreed to support the IIBLP in this undertaking and I became a member of the group.

That was the beginning of four years of meetings, mostly between lawyers and bankers from the US banks most heavily engaged in standby LCs. These were perhaps the most educational years of my career. The lawyers were all well-known among themselves and very knowledgeable of the legal aspects of standby LCs. The bankers were very experienced in the operational use of standby letters of credit.

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