Securities Lending

Securities lending is a well-established activity where ETFs make short-term loans of the underlying stocks or bonds in the portfolio; this can incrementally increase the returns for shareholders.

How ETF Securities Lending Works

First, a large financial institution asks to temporarily borrow a stock or bond from an ETF. To borrow the asset, the institution must compensate the fund and provide collateral, which must exceed the value of the loaned stock or bond. The fund company invests the collateral in low-risk money market funds, which can generate incremental returns until the borrowed stock or bonds are returned.

Benefits of Securities Lending

Investors can actually benefit from securities lending because the fund can generate additional income. Securities lending is a relatively low-risk way to unlock the full value of a portfolio and enables investors to potentially collect higher returns than would otherwise.

Our Approach to Securities Lending

While not completely risk free, we believe in managing our security lending operations in a way that is in our clients’ best interest and with prudent risk management.

  • Robust Assessment of Borrowers
    We select highly credit-worthy borrowers based on conservative credit standards defined by our risk team, which operates independently of our securities lending business.
  • Skillful Risk Management
    We take a conservative, low-risk approach and use our proprietary risk and investment management platform to integrate the capabilities of our dedicated research, trading and risk-management teams.
  • Collateral Standards
    Cash is the most common form of collateral. We require borrowers to post excess collateral of at least 102% of the loan value and keep it until they return the stocks or bonds.
  • Proprietary Technology
    Our dedicated team works on custom-built reporting, operations and trading systems to help ensure transparency and efficiency.


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Carefully consider the Funds' investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds' prospectuses or, if available, the summary prospectuses which may be obtained visiting the iShares ETF prospectus pages. Read the prospectus carefully before investing. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Investing involves risk including loss of principal. The opinions presented are those of Kate Moore, Chief Equity Strategist, as of September 9th, 2016 and may change as subsequent conditions vary. Individual portfolio managers for BlackRock may have opinions and/or made investment decisions that may, in certain respects, not be consistent with the information contained in this presentation. This is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The information and opinions contained in this presentation are derived from proprietary and nonproprietary sources deemed by BlackRock to be reliable, are not necessarily all inclusive and are not guaranteed as to accuracy. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the viewer.

The Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”).

There is no guarantee that there will be borrower demand for shares of the iShares Funds, or that securities lending will generate any level of income. Distributions paid out of the Fund’s net investment income, including income from securities lending, if any, are taxable to investors as ordinary income.

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