Research released today revealed that 89% of respondents would prefer if banks used less financial jargon and more plain English in their communications. The research, commissioned by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) in partnership with the EBS Building Society, also found that over a fifth of respondents would switch financial institution if they provided their information in a more user-friendly manner.
To help support people who want to ensure that they fully understand the financial information that they are reading NALA and EBS have developed the ‘A-Z Pocket Guide to Financial Terms’. The guide contains over 500 definitions including a number of terms that are currently in frequent use in the context of ongoing issues in the financial services industry. Some additions since the first version of the book was published include; sub-prime lending; recapitalization and receivership. The ‘A – Z Pocket Guide to Financial Terms’ is free and is available from NALA on 01-855 4332 or can be downloaded here or from www.ebs.ie .
Speaking at the launch, Inez Bailey, Director of NALA, said: “For the last six months Irish people have been bombarded with complex financial information. Lack of plain English and the regular use of fancy jargon is one of the greatest barriers to understanding financial information. The terms explained in this A – Z Guide are designed to help explain financial ideas and concepts in plain English rather than to give legal definitions. It is hoped that it will go some way to help people better understand both their own personal finance issues and the current issues that are having an impact on our economy.”
Commenting on the launch of the ‘A-Z Financial Literacy Guide’, Aidan Power, Head of Marketing at EBS said: “At EBS we are committed to ensuring that our members and customers make fully informed financial decisions. We understand that the complex nature of some transactions can make this very difficult for people. To try and address some of the challenges that people face we have partnered with NALA over the past four years to help address the issue of financial literacy in Ireland.
“We are committed to supporting financial inclusion for all and are confident that this guide will be a useful resource for those who find the area complex. People are more aware of, and in some cases are more concerned about, financial issues than ever before because of the ongoing uncertainty in the financial sector.
“If people are worried about their employment or their own personal finances in these uncertain times then as a responsible organization we believe that we have a responsibility to help support people as much as we can by equipping them with the information that they need to manage their own personal situation. In addition to developing this guide, EBS is also committed to providing support and financial counseling services for members in branches throughout the country to help people plan for the immediate future. It is important at times such as these that people look at their saving and spending patterns and put prudent steps in place to ensure that they can meet their mortgage payments in the period ahead. Our team at EBS is committed to working with our members to look at individual circumstances so that they can put an appropriate plan in place for each of them,” he concluded.
The research commissioned by NALA and EBS has found that more than one in ten of Irish adults have difficulty understanding the way financial documents are written and have a particular problem with the impersonal nature of documents and the technical language that is used. EBS has partnered with NALA for the past four years and has worked with them on the development of a comprehensive financial literacy programme. The ‘A-Z Guide’ has been developed as a useful resource for people and that is why it is available at no cost for all those interested.
The ‘A – Z Pocket Guide to Financial Terms’ is part of the NALA / EBS Financial Literacy Programme, a financial literacy campaign now in its fourth year, designed to tackle low literacy levels as a barrier to understanding and accessing financial services.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-3797291