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Unit 4 Status Enquiries Teaching Objectives:  Knowledge Requirements: 1 To enhance students’ awareness of the effective channels to make status enquiries.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 4 Status Enquiries Teaching Objectives:  Knowledge Requirements: 1 To enhance students’ awareness of the effective channels to make status enquiries."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 4 Status Enquiries Teaching Objectives:  Knowledge Requirements: 1 To enhance students’ awareness of the effective channels to make status enquiries ; 2 To enable students to become familiar with structural parts and main contents of status enquiries with the specimen letters given ;  Competence Requirements: To skillfully write or translate structural parts of English status enquiries with the important words and expressions for business writing.

2 Part One Channels To Make Status Enquiries Status enquiries are traders’ request for information respecting the other firm’s financial position, credit standing, reputation and business methods. In business, it is of utmost necessity and importance for importers and exporters to investigate the credit standing of the counterparts and obtain all the information possible concerning the firm with which they are about to conduct any formal business. But how could traders secure all the necessary information about a brand-new business counterpart’s financial position, credit standing, reputation and business methods? There are various ways of getting such information. Usually they may apply to the following channels for such information (see the following table):

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4 Trader may resort to the above sources to research a prospective partner. And the services they offer can be cited respectively as follows: International Banks have access to vast amounts of information on foreign firms and are usually willing to assist corporate customers. The Commercial Counselor’s Office of most foreign embassies has directories of firms located in their countries. Chambers of Commerce, Industrial & Trade Guild issue trade directories which may offer reference. Enquiry Agencies & Business libraries provide credit reports on foreign companies, sector publications list and many regional and country directories of qualified international firms as well. Traders may also turn to Established Business Connections or Partners for credit information of potential business partners.

5 However, whatever channels traders may resort to, the information obtained from a bank or from The Commercial Counselor’s Office of most foreign embassies or from a chamber of commerce, is generally considered most reliable. It’s often most desirable for traders to attain the necessary information from a bank through their own bank. Status enquiries are generally headed “Confidential” or “Private and Confidential”. These words are also written or printed on the envelope. In addition, a self- addressed and stamped envelope is usually enclosed for the convenience of the information supplier. Some large firms make their enquiries on specially printed forms containing the questions they would like to have answered. Therefore, it goes without saying that status enquiring letters are somewhat stereotyped.

6 Your reply to an enquiry of this nature should always be headed with the words “Private”. Using “the firm concerned”, “the said firm” or “the firm in question” instead of mentioning the name of the firm under investigation, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when the reference report is discouraging or unfavorable. Apart from giving a true account of facts and offering advice, the reply usually contains such words as “the information is given without any responsibility” or “the information is given to the best of our belief, and we must ask you to treat it in strict confidence and without any responsibility on our part” so as to avoid any possible trouble. Traders asking for information must remember that they are asking for a favor and therefore should write in polite and appreciative terms. When the information is received, no matter whether it is favorable or unfavorable, a suitable letter of acknowledgement and thanks must be sent. This is no more than common courtesy.

7 Part Two The Structure & Main Content of Status Enquiry Letters & Replies In writing to the above-mentioned channels for necessary information about the financial standing and credit rating of a prospective trader, what should we mention or emphasize in the letter? Analysis of status enquiry letters & replies may help reinforce and strengthen your impression and understanding of the structural parts of status enquiry letters and those of its replies.

8 2.1 Structural Parts of Status Enquiry Letters & Replies Analysis of Specimen Letters: Exporter’s Enquiry about Importer’s Status & Bank Replies (See the following tables) Specimen Letters: Exporter’s Enquiry about Importer’s Status & Analysis Specimen Letter: Reply to Exporter’s Status Enquiry Letter & Analysis

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11 Upon the above analysis, we may come to the impression and conclusion that: Structural parts of status enquiry letters consist of the following four sections: Section 1: Indicate clearly the importance of the business & your intention for information on the credit status & financial standing; Section 2: Provide detailed contacting information about the firm; Section 3: Promise & assure the recipient that everything will be kept in strict confidence; Section 4: Express sincere thanks for the help & cordial expectation for a prompt favorable reply. Sometimes the status enquiry letter indicates importance of the reference by submitting the details of the first business and future transactions. And it is important to offer some kind of incentive when asking for a favor of this kind.

12 While structural parts of replies to status enquiry letters can be sketched as the following sections: Section 1: Acknowledge receipt of the enquiry; Section 2: Submit a specific reference concerning the 3 C’s of the firm in question or its esteem or reputation; Section 3: Make requirement to the recipient to keep it secret and its liability or irresponsibility declaration.

13 2.2 Skills for Writing Structural Parts of Status Enquiry Letters The following statements might facilitate your understanding and writing of structural parts of status enquiry letters from a comprehensive perspective:

14 e.g.  Messrs. Schneider & Kern have given us your name as a reference respecting their financial standing. Will you please inform us, in confidence, of the extent of their resources and also as to their reputation?  Will you please be good enough to obtain for us all the information possible respecting the financial standing and modes of business of … (company’s name)?  As we have not done any business with them in the past, we would like to know if you could provide us with any information concerning their financial and credit status.  We would be obliged if you would inform us, in confidence, whether your business relations with them during the past would lead you to advise us to allow them 3 month’ credit, without security, to the amount of US $ 50,000. Section 1: Indicate clearly the importance of the business & your intention for information on the credit status & financial standing or the alike.

15 Section 2: Provide detailed contacting information about the firm. e.g.  Will you please be so kind as to furnish us with details, as exact as possible, as to the credit which may be safely allowed to the firm whose name is given on the attached slip?  Enclosed please find the address of the above firm.

16 Section 3: Promise & assure the recipient that everything will be kept in strict confidence. e.g.  Any information you can furnish as to their capital and reputation would be greatly valued and treated in confidence by us.  You may rest assured that any information you may provide will be treated as strictly confidential.  It goes without saying that any information you may obtain for us will be treated as strictly confidential and without any responsibility on your part.

17 Section 4: Express sincere thanks for the help & cordial expectation for a prompt favorable reply. e.g.  We shall most grateful for any information you can obtain for us.  We shall appreciate it if you will let us know their financial position.  It would give us great pleasure to be able to render you a similar service should opportunity occur.  We assure you of our reciprocating your courtesy at any time.

18 2.3 Skills for Writing Structural Parts of Replies to Status Enquiry Letters The following statements might offer you respective reference to your writing of corresponding structural parts of replies to status enquiry letters:

19 Section 1: Acknowledge receipt of the enquiry letter. e.g.  Upon receipt of your letter of 22nd December, we made enquiries respecting the firm you mentioned and have obtained the following information…  In rely to your enquiry of November 24 concerning the firm in question, we would recommend a policy of caution.  We have completed our enquiries concerning the firm mentioned in your letter of 4th April and regret that we must advise you to regard their request for credit with caution.  In reply to your enquiry of the 1st inst., we inform you that our business relations with the firm have hitherto been most satisfactory.  Replying to your enquiry of 10th inst., we inform you that we have no personal knowledge as to the standing of Messrs. Chitian & Co., of our city.  Replying to your letter of yesterday’s date, we are happy to inform you that the house referred to in your letter enjoys an unlimited credit.

20 Section 2: Submit a specific reference concerning the 3 C’s of the firm in question or its esteem or reputation. e.g.  With a considerable account of capital, it has carried on business in this city for many years and held in the highest esteem, as far as our information goes, both for his business ability and for his reliability in punctually meeting obligations. Thus, we believe that your business transactions with the said corporation will prove satisfactory.  They command considerable funds and an unlimited credit, and the executives are thorough business men.  Of late, payments have been quite irregularly made, and more than one occasion we have had to press for them.  We regret our inability to tell you anything positive concerning the firm mentioned in your letter of the 30th ult (Short form for “ultimo”).  We are informed: “The Company is a newly-formed corporation, having been chartered in September of 1946 with an authorized capital of $50,000 with only $500 recorded as having been paid in.”

21 Section 3: Make requirement to the recipient to keep it secret& its irresponsibility declaration e.g.  Though the information is given to the best of our belief, and we must ask you to treat it in strict confidence and without any responsibility on our part.  Any statement on the part of this bank or any of its officers as to the standing of any person, firm or corporation, is given as a mere matter of opinion for which no responsibility, in any way, is to attach to this bank or any of its officers.  This is without obligation on my part, though I am fully convinced that you will find my information borne out by the fact.  We shall be pleased to render you any further services, and we ask you to consider this information as given in strict confidence.  We accept your assurance that the information we have given will be treated in strict confidence and regret that we cannot be more helpful.

22 2.4 Specimen Letters for Status Enquiries & Replies  Letters for Status Enquiries

23 Specimen Letter 1: Dear Sirs: Titan Trading Co. Ltd. of your city, wholesalers of spare parts for car wheels, has placed an order with us in an amount of US $ 5,000. Since they ask payment to be made by D/P, instead of L/C at sight as usually accepted by us, we would be glad to know if they have any record of default and if it is safe to comply with their request. Since they have given us your name as their trade reference, we are therefore, writing to you with the request that you would obtain for us any information about the company. It is understood that any information you may supply us will be considered as confidential and without any responsibility on your part. It would give us great pleasure to be able to render you a similar service should opportunity occur. Yours sincerely, ……

24 Specimen Letter 2 Dear Sir, The Kaykey Inc The subject company is now offering to represent us in the sale of our Machines Tools, and has referred us to your bank for detailed information about its credit standing, business capacity and capital. Since this is the first transaction between us, we shall appreciate it if you would furnish us with your frank opinion on these points regarding the company. It goes without saying that any information you may obtain for us will be treated as strictly confidential and without any responsibility on your part. We assure you of our reciprocating your courtesy at any time. Yours respectfully, ……

25 Specimen Letter 3 Dear Sirs: We would like you to enquire into the financial and credit status of a firm in Shiyan on our behalf. The firm is Wonderflying Trading Co. Ltd., Shiyan, Hubei, distributors of spare parts for cars. We would like to know their general financial reliability. In particular, their trade with us will involve a sum of USD50, 000 initially, and perhaps a monthly credit of USD5, 000 will be required. We should be pleased if you would let us know whether this credit is justified in view of their record in meeting payment dates. Is there a record of bad debts? We need to know this if we are about to extend credit to them. You may rest assured that any information you may provide will be treated as strictly confidential. Looking forward to receiving your early reply, we are. Yours sincerely, ……

26  Replies to Letters for Status Enquiries

27 Specimen Letter 4: a Favorable Reply to a Status Enquiry Dear Sir, RE: Status Enquiries We have received your letter of August 3, in which you ask us to inform you something about the credit standing of the corporation referred to in your letter dated June 11. We welcome this opportunity to assure you of our complete confidence in the said corporation. It has carried on business in this city for many years and held in the highest esteem, both for his business ability and for his reliability in meeting obligations. We ourselves have been doing business with him for over six years. He has always paid his accounts promptly on the set date. On the whole its reputation is good and sound. Though the information is given to the best of our belief, and we must ask you to treat it in strict confidence and without any responsibility on our part. Yours faithfully, ……

28 Specimen Letter 5: an Unfavorable Reply to a Status Enquiry Private & Confidential Dear Sirs, Upon receipt of your letter of 12th August, we made enquiries respecting the firm you referred to and have obtained the following information from our agent in that area: “The firm, Anderson Co. Ltd., a company dealing in pharmaceutical chemicals, has recently made an arrangement with its creditors in June 11. Its liabilities were up to £8,000, with assets £5,000. The business is said to be making no progress at the present time, and we would advise you to exercise extreme caution in your dealings with this firm.” We have also made independent enquiries respecting the above firm, and the result was practically a corroboration of our agent’s report. It would, therefore, appear inadvisable to enter into any credit transaction with these people. You are welcome to this information free of charge, and we shall be pleased to render you any further services in the matter, and ask you to consider this information as given in strict confidence. Yours sincerely, ……

29 Specimen Letter 6 Dear Sirs, Upon receipt of your letter of 10th inst., we made enquiries respecting the firm you mentioned and inform you that we can give nothing but favourable information about the firm in question which can be cited as the following: The firm enquired about in your letter, Messrs. Chitian & Co., a large exporter of copperwares, was founded in 1989 with a capital of US $ 100,000 and an annual turnover of US $ 300,000. It goes without saying that they command considerable funds and an unlimited credit, and the executives are thorough businessmen. Moreover, it is learned that they had a profit of US $ 50,000 last year and our record with them is quite satisfactory. We are pleased to say that we have every confidence in the uprightness of this firm and you will run no risk in trading with the said firm. We hope this information would prove of help to you and we understand that you will treat it as strictly confidential. Yours faithfully, ……

30 Summary Status enquiries are traders’ request for information respecting the other firm’s financial position, credit standing, reputation and business methods. In business, it is of utmost necessity and importance for importers and exporters to investigate the credit standing and the alike of the counterparts and obtain all the information possible concerning the firm with which they are about to conduct any formal business. Usually they may resort to the following channels to research a prospective partner: international banks, the commercial counselor’s office, chambers of commerce, industrial & trade guild, enquiry agencies & business libraries, established business connections or partners. However, whatever channels traders may resort to, the information obtained from a bank or from The Commercial Counselor’s Office of most foreign embassies or from a chamber of commerce, is generally considered most reliable. It’s often most desirable for traders to attain the necessary information from a bank through their own bank. Status enquiries are generally headed “Confidential” or “Private and Confidential”. Structural parts of status enquiry letters and those of their replies facilitate skillful writing or translation of English status enquiries and replies.

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32 Exercises Directions: Give the correct definitions of the following underlined words. 1) We named your bank as a reference for our credit investigation. 2) Our new designs will be sent to you for reference. 3) With reference to your enquiry of 6th January, I am glad to inform you that... 4) Enclosed please find a reference of Tung Hing Co., which should be treated confidentially. 5) Reference is made to our letter dated 8th March, ) We thank you for your letter of September 5, reference No

33 Answer: 1.a person who writes a testimonial of one's character or capabilities ( 证明人 ) 2. information ( 参考 ) 3. regard ( 参考 / 见 ….) 4. a testimonial of one's character or capabilities ( 证明信 ) 5. instance of referring (….. 备案 ) 6. the mark or sign, as a number, letter ~ or symbol directing the reader to sth. ( 案号 )

34 Directions: Fill in each blank with: confidential, confidence, confidentially. 1) Any information that you may give us will be held in absolute. 2) Please let us have a report on the reputation and financial standing of the firm in question. 3) This information is given in and without any responsibility on our part. 4) We have to draw your attention to the fact that any particulars we now give you as to the standing of the firm are. 5) Any information that you may give us will be regarded as. Answer: 1. confidence 2. confidentially 3. confidence 4. confidential 5. confidential

35 Directions: Translate the following English sentences into Chinese.  Messrs. Schneider & Kern have given us your name as a reference respecting their financial standing. Will you please inform us, in confidence, of the extent of their resources and also as to their reputation?  Will you please be good enough to obtain for us all the information possible respecting the financial standing and modes of business of … (company’s name)?  It goes without saying that any information you may obtain for us will be treated as strictly confidential and without any responsibility on your part.  Though the information is given to the best of our belief, and we must ask you to treat it in strict confidence and without any responsibility on our part.  This is a case in which caution is necessary and we suggest that you make additional enquiries through an agency. We accept your assurance that the information we have given will be treated in strict confidence and regret that we cannot be more helpful.

36 Answer:  Schneider & Kern 公司指定贵方为该公司信用证 明人。恳请惠予密告该公司的有关情况及其声誉。  如蒙惠予提供事关 … (公司名称)的财务状况及 其经营方式方面的情报,我方将不胜感激。  不言而喻,贵方所提供给我方的任何信息都将被 视为机密,贵方对此不承担任何责任。  我方竭诚为贵方提供此信息,但求贵方务必严守 秘密,且我方对此不承担任何责任。  对于此种情况要谨慎从事。我方建议贵方通过代 理再次征信。我方深信贵方对于我方提供的信息 会严守秘密;同时,因我方爱莫能助,深表歉意。

37 Directions: Translate the following Chinese sentences into English.  他们缺乏经验,我方建议贵方在信用授权时要慎 之又慎。  贵方征信之商号乃本地最为可靠的进口商之一, 在业界享有盛誉。  很抱歉我方无法就该商号提供任何确切情况。  今后如有吩咐, 我们将乐于为您效劳。但对本报 告, 务必严守秘密, 敬请谅察为荷。  对于贵方所提供的信息,我方将严守秘密。敬请 放心。

38 Answer:  They are inexperienced in business and extreme caution is advised in granting credit.  The firm you inquire about is one of the most reliable importers in our district and has for many years enjoyed a good reputation among the traders.  We regret our inability to inform you anything positive concerning the firm mentioned.  We shall be pleased to render you any further services, and we ask you to consider this information as given in strict confidence.  You may rest assured that any information you may provide will be treated as strictly confidential.

39 Directions: Write the necessary letter to the Bank of China, Shiyan Branch, enquiring about the financial and credit standing of Wingstar International Trading Co., Ltd. The particulars are given below: 1 闻斯达国际贸易有限公司指定贵行作为其资信 证明人; 2 本公司与闻斯达国际贸易有限公司是初次交易, 贸易额是 15 万美元,赊账交易; 3 依照该公司过去在按期付款方面的记录来看, 他们是否有不良信用记录?这么大的信用额度是 否合理? 4 承诺银行提供的任何信息都将被视为机密,贵 方对此不承担任何责任。

40 Answer: Dear Sirs: We are now considering developing business with Wingstar International Trading Co., Ltd., who names you as their reference. Their trade with us will involve a sum of US$150,000 initially and they asked for credit transaction. Since this is the first transaction between us, we would like to ask you to inform us if this credit is justified in view of their record on meeting their payment dates. Is there any record of bad debts or default? Will you please inform us frankly whether you consider we may safely give them the above credit ? It is understood that any information you may supply us will be considered as confidential and without any responsibility on your part. Yours faithfully, ……


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