Forward Rate Agreement Wiki

For­ward Rate Agree­ment (FRA) Wiki: What You Need to Know

For­ward rate agree­ments (FRAs) are finan­cial instru­ments that allow par­ties to lock in an inter­est rate for a future date. They are used by banks, cor­po­ra­tions, and other finan­cial insti­tu­tions to man­age their expo­sure to inter­est rate risk. In this arti­cle, we will explore the basics of FRAs and why they are impor­tant, as well as pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive FRA wiki.

What is a For­ward Rate Agreement?

A For­ward Rate Agree­ment (FRA) is a deriv­a­tive instru­ment that enables two par­ties to fix the inter­est rate for a pre­de­ter­mined period in the future. Typ­i­cally, one party is try­ing to hedge their expo­sure to poten­tial fluc­tu­a­tions in inter­est rates, while the other party is look­ing to take advan­tage of such fluc­tu­a­tions. In an FRA, the buyer of the con­tract agrees to pay the seller a fixed inter­est rate on a spe­cific notional amount of money at a pre­de­ter­mined future date. In exchange, the seller agrees to pay the buyer a float­ing inter­est rate based on a spec­i­fied bench­mark rate, such as LIBOR (Lon­don Inter­bank Offered Rate), for that same notional amount.

How Does a For­ward Rate Agree­ment Work?

FRAs are usu­ally traded over the counter (OTC) and are cus­tomized to meet the needs of the par­ties involved. Typ­i­cally, the par­ties agree on the notional amount, the dura­tion of the FRA con­tract, and the inter­est rate to be paid. The inter­est rate on the FRA is cal­cu­lated by sub­tract­ing the agreed-upon for­ward rate from the cur­rent spot rate, with the result being mul­ti­plied by the notional amount. This net pay­ment is usu­ally exchanged between the par­ties at the end of the con­tract period.

Why are For­ward Rate Agree­ments Important?

For­ward rate agree­ments are impor­tant because they allow par­ties to reduce their inter­est rate risk expo­sure. Imag­ine a busi­ness that has a loan with a vari­able inter­est rate. If inter­est rates rise, the business‘s loan pay­ments will also rise, poten­tially putting a strain on their cash flow. By enter­ing into an FRA con­tract, the busi­ness can lock in a fixed inter­est rate for the future, thus pro­tect­ing them­selves against any upward move­ments in inter­est rates.

FRA Wiki

Now that you have a basic under­stand­ing of what FRAs are and how they work, let‘s take a closer look at some key terms and con­cepts that you might come across when read­ing about FRAs.

Notional amount — The notional amount is the nom­i­nal value of the con­tract, which is used to cal­cu­late the pay­ment between the par­ties. It‘s impor­tant to note that the notional amount is not actu­ally exchanged — it‘s sim­ply used to deter­mine the cash flows.

For­ward rate — The for­ward rate is the inter­est rate agreed upon by the par­ties for the future date.

Spot rate — The spot rate is the inter­est rate that is cur­rently pre­vail­ing in the market.

LIBORLIBOR is the Lon­don Inter­bank Offered Rate, which is the bench­mark inter­est rate used to cal­cu­late many FRA contracts.

Inter­est rate risk — Inter­est rate risk is the risk that inter­est rates will change and affect the value of a finan­cial instrument.


For­ward rate agree­ments are impor­tant finan­cial instru­ments that can help busi­nesses and other finan­cial insti­tu­tions man­age their expo­sure to inter­est rate risk. By fix­ing the inter­est rate for a future date, par­ties can pro­tect them­selves against any poten­tial upward move­ments in inter­est rates. If you‘re look­ing to learn more about FRAs, our FRA wiki pro­vides a com­pre­hen­sive guide to the key terms and con­cepts asso­ci­ated with these instruments.