Raise your hand if you’ve ever been at the bank and nodded along to an explanation that might as well have been in Klingon. You didn’t do your degree in Finance and Accounting and your BA in English Language just isn’t helping you here. Don’t worry though, you’re not alone. Millions of Brits don’t understand financial jargon and have lived perfectly happy lives in doing so.
As SWNS Digital report, every year millions of people sign financial contracts without fully knowing what they’re putting their name down for. One in six UK adults will openly admit that they do not know even the most common jargon and abbreviations like ISA and AER. Just think about all the people out there who wouldn’t admit that.
This study, commissioned by Norton Finance, asked 1000 adults about their approximate knowledge around bank jargon used everyday by high street banks.
To give you the brief, 80% of respondents believed that banks use way too much jargon and feel tricked, betrayed and emotionally damaged by their banks (I made that last bit up).
In order to save face we all just nod along with the bankers behind the desks and the TV adverts like a student that’s walked into the wrong lecture. But there is starting to be serious push-back against the complicated terminology.
Keith Stringer, founder of Norton Finance, wrote: “we’re seeing a huge majority wanting more action from public authorities to stem the issues. There’s a tie to the kind of language a financial establishment uses and trust”.
Part of the study involved participants reading a list of real and imaginary financial terms and being asked to determine the real jargon from the fake. To give you an idea of how the public fared, 10% of people didn’t believe ‘credit rating’ was a real thing.
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This means, hypothetically, that 100 out of 1,000 people out there are running around like lunatics not believing that credit rating is a thing. These kind of people probably think the moon is the back of the sun. Something needs to be done.
If you want to be part of the solution, you can take the, catchily titled, Great Finance Jargon Quiz here.