Floating Rate Note

Floating Rate Note

A floating-rate note is a debt instrument with a variable interest cost. The financing cost for an FRN is attached to a benchmark rate. Benchmarks incorporate the U.S. treasury note rate, the Federal Reserve funds rates known as the Fed funds—the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The rate is changed month to month or quarterly corresponding to the benchmark. The maturity period of FRN’s change however is commonly in the scope of two to five years. These notes are regularly traded over-the-counter.

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How does it work?

FRN’s are given by governments, just as private companies and financial institutions.

For example, maybe given the maturity of two years and an interest rate that resets quarterly dependent on the three-month LIBOR rate+ 0.02%. as of this composition, the three-month LIBOR rate is 0.66%, which implies the note would pay 0.86% for its first quarter. In the event that the three-month LIBOR were to rise 1% after one quarter has passed, at that point the note’s interest would reset to 1.2%.

This is as opposed to a fixed-rate note, which pays a similar loan interest for its whole maturity. Since floating-rate notes depend upon the short-term interest rate, which is typically lower than the long-term. An FRN normally pays lower than a fixed-rate note of the same maturity.

Much the same as fixed-rate notes, floating-rate notes can be callable or non-callable, which implies that the issuer may have the alternative to reimburse the principal before maturity. Floating-rate notes may likewise have what’s known as “cap” or “floor”. A cap is a maximum interest rate the note can pay, regardless of how high the benchmark rate rises, and a floor is minimal allowable payment.


  • Plain floating-rate note
  • Capped note
  • Floored note
  • Collared note
  • Perpetual note
  • Reverse floating-rate note
  • Flip-flop note

Benefits & risks to investors:

Basically, investors prefer floating-rate notes to limit their interest rate risk.


  • Higher rate of return than fixed-rate notes.
  • Short-term maturity will return your principal relatively quickly.
  • Repayment confidence in a reputable situation.
  • Perform better when the interest rate increases.

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  • Lower-income if rates fall as yield will go down.
  • Lack of certainty as to the future income stream.
  • Lower rates of return given the short-term nature.
  • Potential of non-payment, especially private corporations.
  • Credit risk.
  • Interest rate risk.

Bottom line:

FRN’s are valuable additions to any portfolio if the market sees interest rates will begin to rise up. Critically, FRN’s are normally tradeable securities like some other bond, permitting investors to withdraw capital if needed. They are especially valuable to those investors who are continually looking for the best term deposit (TD) rates and maintain TD maturity short to exploit any potential higher rate movements.

Author – Priyanshu Ahuja

About the author – I’m a first-year student from City Premier College, Nagpur, pursuing BBA. My interest includes financial markets and the investment domain.

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