A bank guarantee is a legal commitment that is separate from the original contractual obligation. It is payable upon written request by the beneficiary and upon submission of the confirmation required by the guarantee, and no objections can be made.
Bank guarantees are commonly used because they are extremely versatile – they can be used in almost all situations, on either the Swiss or international market.
Upon request, bank guarantees can be made subject to the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (RUGD 758).
If the applicant does not meet its contractual obligations relating to the guarantee, the beneficiary may request payment.
In most cases, a written statement by the beneficiary made within the guarantee period is enough to receive payment.
For indirect guarantees, the request for payment must be submitted to the beneficiary’s bank. That bank will make the payment immediately if the request is valid. That bank will then receive payment in return through the counter-guarantee.
Surety bonds are governed by Article 492 of the Swiss Code of Obligations and therefore can only be used to guarantee the claims of Swiss creditors. The difference with bank guarantees is that surety bonds are dependent on the original contractual obligation; this is known as accessoriness. Surety bonds may be simple or joint and several. And the applicant can make exceptions and objections to any demand for payment.
If you have a credit limit that allows bank guarantees or surety bonds to be issued, you can submit your application directly to us using the forms available below under "Useful Documents."