SPDR Blackstone/GSO Senior Loan ETF (NYSEArca: SRLN) has grown to nearly $500 million since listing less than five months ago, illustrating the soaring popularity of bank loan ETFs.

The current market environment seems to be right in bank loan ETFs’ wheelhouse as investors clamor for income while also guarding against the negative impact of rising rates.

“Steady returns and higher yields with secured claims to a business’s assets is the attraction for investor’s to this asset class,” S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a note Friday. [2013 Could be the Year of the Bank Loan ETF]

Other ETFs tracking the sector include PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (NYSEArca: BKLN), Highland/iBoxx Senior Loan (NYSEArca: SNLN) and First Trust Senior Loan Fund (NasdaqGM: FTSL).

SRLN and FTSL are actively managed funds, while BKLN and SNLN are passive, index-tracking ETFs.

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