Text speak more widely understood than financial terms

Many Brits don’t know their ISAs from their LBOs, but are much more familiar with common text speak, it has been claimed.

A new study by Nationwide Building Society found that Brits are more familiar with text abbreviations than they are even the simplest financial terms. It claimed that 79 per cent of UK adults are aware that LOL means “laugh out loud” and that 77 per cent knew OMG stands for “oh my God”. However, only 65 per cent of people know what ATM stands for (“Automated Teller Machine”), and just 60 per cent know that ISA relates to an “Individual Savings Account”.

The most commonly known financial abbreviation on Nationwide’s list is PAYE (“Pay As You Earn”), though only 66 per cent could explain what it stood for.

Elsewhere, the text expletive WTF was known to more people than HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) and APR (Annual Percentage Rate).

Though Nationwide said the findings were “alarming”, it should hardly come as a surprise, with text speak firmly entering common parlance and emojis being named recently as the world’s fastest growing language.

Commenting on the results, Nationwide’s head of mortgage and savings policy, Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, told belfasttelegraph.co.uk: “Organisations such as banks, building societies [and] 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.”