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Survey looks at financial terminology understood by consumers

26 July 2018

Financial terminology remains a minefield for many UK adults, with a large number lacking the knowledge and confidence to correctly understand the different meanings, according to research by Reboot Online Digital Marketing Agency

Of all the financial terms, Reboot Online found ‘savings account’ was the best understood, with 92% of British adults feeling confident about its meaning, followed by ‘Cash ISA’ (78%).  In third position, 74% of respondents said they were confident what a ‘building society’ represents and could differentiate it from a normal bank.

However, the analysis taken from a YouGov survey of 1,916 British adults, found confidence waned for terms such as “fixed or variable annual percentage rate (APR)” with only 64% able to understand its true meaning.

Mortgages also showed varying levels of understanding, with UK adults relating more to the terms “fixed mortgage” (72%) and ‘mortgage deposit’ (63%) than ‘tracker mortgage’ (49%).

On the other end of the scale, the public appeared least confident about a ‘spread betting account’ with an overwhelming 67% unsure about its connotations. This was closely followed by ‘corporate bonds’ (65%) and ‘tracker fund’ (64%), the analysis showed.

Shai Anthony, managing director, Reboot Online, commented: “Jargon specifically related to certain sectors and subject matters can be a mind field. Individuals can therefore often get lost in translation when trying to decipher them. Despite this, considering the fact that numerous financial terms have a substantial impact on minor as well as major savings and spending intentions, Brits should be more accustomed to them.”

He added: “Going forward, there should be a real drive to educate Brits from an early age on the different aspects of the financial world that will more than likely affect their personal and business matters in adulthood.”

The analysis follows research by Norton Finance which found nearly a third of adults (31%) have signed a financial contract without knowing some or all of the terminology.