Close-out netting is a netting method that reduces pre-settlement credit risk. It only applies to transactions between parties where there is a default.
Advantages of close-out netting
In close-out netting, the non-defaulting company is no longer subject to contractual obligations to a defaulting counterparty. The positive and negative values are then combined into either a net receivable or payable. As a result, credit exposure is reduced from gross to net exposure.
If the combined values result in a net receivable, the non-defaulting party owns this debt, which is to be paid by the defaulting party. If the netting calculation results in a net payable; the defaulting party is owed this amount by the non-defaulting party.
Close-out netting is designed to considerably reduce the impact of a transactional default. Without close-out netting, the non-defaulting party remains bound by the terms of the transaction contract, and has to pay the notional amount. It is then often complicated, expensive and time-consuming to recover the capital. And if the defaulting party has cash flow problems or declares bankruptcy, the chances of recovering the total amount are greatly reduced.