A means by which a borrower can exchange the type of funds most easily raised for the type of funds required, usually through the intermediary of a bank. For example, a UK company may find it easy to raise a sterling loan when they really want to borrow euros; a German company may have exactly the opposite problem. A swap will enable them to exchange the currency they possess for the currency they need. This is called a currency swap. The other common type of swap is an interest-rate swap, in which borrowers exchange fixed- for floating-interest rates. The essence of a swap is that the parties exchange the net cash flows of different types of borrowing instruments on an over-the-counter market.
Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services — Accounting.