OMG! What is a DIP?

17 September 2015

Brits hv gr8r understanding of txt spk than financial lingo

R u ny gd @ txt spk? Those who understood that, but have no idea what LTV, AER or ERC mean, may be in need of some finance-LOL literacy education.

A new poll1 from Nationwide Building Society shows that British adults find it easier to decipher text-speak than they do the terminology used in finance. The knock-on effect is that more than one in ten (14 per cent) have ended up in difficulty because they weren’t clear on financial acronyms.

Finance lingo versus text speak
The majority of people in the Nationwide poll understand the meaning of text terms. Nearly four in five (79 per cent) understand the term LOL (Laugh Out Loud), while more than three quarters (77 per cent) of respondents know the acronym for Oh My God (OMG).

Details of text terms
Top five text terms Bottom five text terms
LOL (Laugh out Loud) 79.15% AMA (Ask Me Anything) 3.80%
OMG (Oh My God) 77.35% LMK (Let Me Know) 4.15%
2moro (Tomorrow) 67.95% WYWH (Wish You Were Here) 5.25%
WTF What The F*ck 63.75% IDC (I Don’t Care) 16.05%
BTW (By The Way) 54.25% TTYL (Talk To You Later) 16.65%

Nationwide's poll shows that people are less certain when it comes to terms they have come across in personal finance. Less than one in 10 people (7.50 per cent) know that an ERC is an Early Repayment Charge on a mortgage, while only 17 per cent of Brits know what LTV stands for. Just over a third (36 per cent) say they know what the key savings acronym AER is. Even the widely used APR - annual percentage rate - is understood by just 53 per cent.

Details of text terms
Top five financial terms Bottom five financial terms
PAYE (Pay As You Earn) (66.05%) DIP (Decision in Principle) 4.60%
ATM (Automated Teller Machine) 65.90% CTF (Child Trust Fund) 4.85%
HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs) 62.25% FRISA (Fixed Rate Individual Savings Account) 4.90%
ISA (Individual Savings Account) 60.85% ERC (Early Repayment Charge) 7.50%
BACS (Bankers' Automated Clearing Services) 60.45% NCD (No Claims Discount) 8.55%

Information support
Through its website,, Nationwide offers a range of informative guides that explain the jargon on a topics ranging from savings to mortgages, credit cards to investments.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Nationwide's Head of Mortgage and Savings Policy, said: "Organisations such as banks, building societies, insurers have been using abbreviations for many years, but it's alarming to see that people still don't have a grasp of the basic financial terminology. In fact, according to our latest research, text speak is more widely understood, with people likely to know an LOL rather than an LTV.

"It's important for people to take some time and understand all the acronyms when applying for products, such as a mortgage, savings account or credit card. After all, a lack of understanding of text speak is not going to cost you financially, but not knowing financial terms will.

"Nationwide has a range of guides available via its website that can help people demystify financial jargon."

Notes to Editors

1 The poll of 2,000 adults was carried out for Nationwide by online market researchers,, and took place between 28 July and 14 August 2015.

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.