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The act of loaning a stock, derivative, or other security to an investor or firm. Securities lending requires the borrower to put up collateral, whether cash, security, or a letter of credit. The completion of this transaction requires a securities lending agreement, which states, among other things, how long the loan lasts, what fee the lender receives, and the amount and type of collateral. Securities lending is important to short selling, in which an investor borrows securities in order to immediately sell them. The advantage of securities lending to the borrower is the fact that he/she may profit from shorting the securities; the advantage to the lender is the fee (and, if the borrower fails to repay, the collateral).
1. A loan made to an investor for the purpose of buying securities. The loan is secured by the securities.
2. The lending of securities by one broker-dealer to another broker-dealer. Securities loans generally occur when broker-dealers need to borrow securities for delivery on customers' short sales.