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FS jargon leaving customers confused

Ryan Fowler

August 26, 2014

NS&I’s ‘Jargon Buster’ survey shows that only 67% of Britons know what a BACS payment is and (38%) know what AER means.

And only 55% of Britons surveyed know what the term Gross means whilst only half (53%) know what ISA stands for.

However, men (56%) were slightly more in the know as to what the terms ISA stands for – in comparison to their female counterparts (50%). Overall, women are more confused when it comes to financial jargon.

Julian Hynd, director of retail at NS&I, said: “It’s clear that customers are being bombarded with financial jargon, not only from their bank or building society but other financial service providers too.

“But it’s important for customers to remember that although the information supplied to them won’t be a riveting read, it will provide essential information relevant to them.”

The survey highlights the importance for financial companies to use easy to understand language, as 60% of those surveyed admit they are likely to stop saving with a particular bank and building society if they can’t understand the language they use to explain terms and conditions, with nearly a fifth (18%) strongly agreeing that they find the language used in product brochures confusing.

Furthermore, 41% were confused by call centre staff, 49% by terminology in application forms, 50% by jargon used on company websites and 51% by phrases used in letters.

A quarter of Britons (25%) that found company websites confusing, admitted that this confusion had stopped them from saving with a particular bank or building society.


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