I'm reading both the wikipedia page and investopedia page about covered bonds, and I'm not sure I understand its definition.

From what I could tell a covered bond it's a 'lump' of other loans put together, and sold to someone. Let's say financial institution A sells it to investor B.

In case of insolvency by A, B has the right to the scheduled interest payments from the underlying assets of the bonds, as well as the principal at the bond’s maturity, and if it's not enough also to other assets from the issuer of the bond.

Why would the fact of the underlying loans of a covered bond staying on the balance sheet of the financial institution during the 'duration' of the bond provide some sort of protection to investor B? Is it because, in this way, it eliminates possibility of the institution to sell its bad loans to other investors?

Any help would be appreciated.


The fact that the underlying loans stay on the issuer balance sheet provides protection to the investor because if any of the loans defaults, the issuer has to replace it by another healthy loan. That would not be the case in a CLO for example, where the loans have been sold into an issuance vehicle separate from the parent company.


Dm63 has already compared a CLO to a CoveredBond.

Let's compare a normal bank bond to a Pfandbrief or Covered Bond. Legal textbooks say that the normal bond is covered by some unidentified portion of the assets (including loans) the Bank has. But this is only a general, abstract statement. The details will be determined later, if the Bank has difficulty paying its creditors. A complicated procedure will be used to determine what the loans are worth (which may or may not involve selling them to a 3d party), how much is owed to different creditors (different classes of bonds for example) and who will receive what portion of what they are owed. There is a scramble to value bank assets and distribute them to creditors based on complicated legal and regulatory considerations at that time (the time of bank resolution).

When a Pfandbrief is issued a decision is made up front that the bonds are backed by a pool of specific, identified loans (and of course these loans cannot be used to back other bonds). Furthermore, if the loan quality deteriorates or the loans are sold, the Bank is required to replace those bonds in the pool with healthy ones. Therefore the covered bond holders know at all times what the ultimate assets backing the bond are.


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