Financial risk management is the practice of creating economic value in a firm by usingfinancial instruments to manage exposure to risk, particularly Credit risk and market risk.

Other types include Foreign exchange, Shape, Volatility, Sector, Liquidity, Inflation risks, etc.

Similar to general risk management, financial risk management requires identifying its sources, measuring it, and plans to address them. As a specialization of risk management, financial risk management focuses on when and how to hedge using financial instruments to manage costly exposures to risk.

In the banking sector worldwide, Basel Accord are generally adopted by internationally active banks to tracking, reporting and exposing operational, credit and market risks.

When to use financial risk management

Finance theory (i.e., financial economics) prescribes that a firm should take on a project when it increases shareholder value.

Finance theory also shows that firm managers cannot create value for shareholders, also called its investors, by taking on projects that shareholders could do for themselves at the same cost.

images-8When applied to financial risk management, this implies that firm managers should not hedge risks that investors can hedge for themselves at the same cost.

This notion is captured by the hedging irrelevance proposition: In a perfect market, the firm cannot create value by hedging a risk when the price of bearing that risk within the firm is the same as the price of bearing it outside of the firm. In practice, financial markets are not likely to be perfect markets.

This suggests that firm managers likely have many opportunities to create value for shareholders using financial risk management. The trick is to determine which risks are cheaper for the firm to manage than the shareholders.

A general rule of thumb, however, is that market risks that result in unique risks for the firm are the best candidates for financial risk management.