Off Balance Sheet (OBS)

What is an ‘Off Balance Sheet – OBS’

Off balance sheet (OBS) items refer to properties or liabilities that do not appear on a company’s balance sheet however that are nonetheless effectively properties or liabilities of the company. Properties or liabilities designated off balance sheet are typically ones that a business is not the recognized legal owner of, or in the case of a liability, does not have direct legal duty for. As an example, although loans issued by a bank are normally continued the bank’s balance sheet, when some loans are securitized and sold as investments, that securitized financial obligation will be deflected the bank’s books, and an operating lease is among the most typical off-balance products.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Off Balance Sheet – OBS’

Off balance sheet items are an essential issue for investors in regard to evaluating a business’s monetary health. Off balance sheet products are typically difficult to identify and track within a company’s monetary statements due to the fact that they usually just appear in the accompanying notes. Another concern is that some off balance sheet items have the possible to become surprise liabilities. For instance, collateralized debt responsibilities (CDO), where possessions that make up the CDO are debt obligations, can end up being hazardous assets– ones that can all of a sudden become almost completely illiquid– before financiers understand the business’s financial direct exposure, because the CDOs are off balance sheet items.

How Off Balance Sheet Funding Works

An operating lease, used in off balance sheet financing, is a good example of a common off balance sheet item. Presume that a company has a recognized line of credit with a bank which a monetary covenant condition for the bank extending credit is that the company should keep its debt-to-assets ratio listed below a specified level. Taking on additional financial obligation to finance the purchase of brand-new computer hardware would break the line of credit covenant by raising the debt-to-assets ratio above the optimum defined level.

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