What Is Securitization?

What Is Securitization?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Securitization is a financial practice where various types of contractual debt such as mortgages, car loans, or credit card debt obligations are consolidated and then sold to a third party as distinct securities. Banks or other financial institutions usually carry out this process. The pooled debt is then split into smaller pieces, or tranches, based upon risk level, and sold to investors. This process gives lenders more liquidity and the opportunity to make more loans. On the other hand, it provides investors with the chance to invest in a diverse range of assets, which can mitigate risk. However, it’s important to note that while securitization distributes risk, it does not eliminate it.

Related Questions

1. How does securitization work?

Securitization works in a series of steps. First, a financial institution, such as a bank, pools together a group of assets. These assets are typically loans that the institution has given out. The pool of loans is then sold to a separate entity, usually a special purpose vehicle (SPV). The SPV packages the pool of loans into securities and sells them to investors. These securities generate income for the investor based on the interest and principal repayments of the underlying loans.

2. What are the benefits of securitization?

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Securitization offers several benefits. For financial institutions, it provides additional liquidity, allowing them to remove loans from their balance sheets and free up capital to extend additional credit. For investors, it offers an opportunity to invest in a diverse set of assets, which can help to spread risk.

3. Can securitization lead to financial crisis?

Yes, securitization can potentially contribute to a financial crisis. This was seen during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, where the securitization of subprime mortgages played a major role. These securities, backed by high-risk mortgages, lost significant value, contributing to the financial crisis.

4. What is the difference between asset securitization and mortgage securitization?

Asset securitization is a broad term that refers to the conversion of any type of asset – including mortgages – into securities. Mortgage securitization, on the other hand, specifically refers to the process of turning mortgage loans into tradable securities.

5. What is the role of credit rating agencies in securitization?

Credit rating agencies play a crucial role in securitization. They assess the risk level of the securities that are formed from the pooled assets. These ratings help investors make informed decisions about the level of risk they’re prepared to take on.