Financial jargon – the flummery surrounding such products as bank accounts, insurance products and investments – is often unnecessary, and can be costly.
A previous investigation by Which? has shown that, when faced with terms and conditions documents of Proustian (or at least Shakespearean!) length and complexity, it’s understandably difficult for members of the public to locate important information.
We called for banks to present their T&Cs in clear, concise, well-indexed and jargon-free documents that are easy for their customers to use. But it doesn’t always feel like banks have moved forward in this area.
We still receive queries about confusing financial jargon, and recent studies by other organisations have shown that financial providers are still using complex words that are difficult to understand.
We think that in order for you, the consumer, to be able to make the right choice, the nature of your financial products needs to be clear so that you know what you’re getting in to. In banking, jargon-free T&Cs could lead to more switching, and a more competitive market in which consumer needs are paramount.
And it’s not just banking where this matters. My work on financial regrets found that investment regrets were the most common among our members, often because financial jargon prevented would-be investors from understanding the nature of the products they were buying into.
We’re interested to find out which financial terms annoy and confuse you the most – as well as any examples of unnecessarily complex terms that you think could easily be boiled down.
So, what’s the worst example of financial jargon you’ve come across?