Field 51a Applicant Bank is an optional field in MT700 SWIFT message.
This field specifies the Applicant bank if it’s different from the Issuing bank.
This can be present in two formats: F51a or F51d
F51a Financial Institution must be mentioned by BIC (Bank Identifier Code). BIC is unique for any bank.
F51d Applicant bank Name and address should be mentioned
The applicant is the customer on whose request the Letter of Credit is issued by the Issuing bank.
As it’s an optional field so normally it’s not present in the LC. The applicant usually has an account in Issuing bank.
But sometimes Applicant bank is also mentioned in the LC. why?
- If the applicant bank cannot open LC. so the Issuing bank and Applicant bank are different.
- The applicant bank has no SWIFT arrangement with the advising bank.
- For some reason, if the Applicant bank is not allowed to open LC
- The beneficiary is not accepting LC from the Applicant bank because of its reputation or credit rating etc.
Here’s the definition as per SWIFT:
This field specifies the bank of the applicant customer, if different from the issuing bank.