By Jonathan Davies
The UK's banks and other financial services businesses have been told to use less jargon by the City regulator.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned the financial services industry that it uses too much small print, which is full of jargon and overly complicated language.
The regulator wants banks and other financial businesses to write small print in a more informative and easier-to-read way, to help customers understand what they are reading.
It said companies would receive fewer complaints and have higher customers satisfaction rates if their small print was written in a more creative way.
The FCA suggested that videos and infographics could be used to explain legal matters. It even said that things as simple as putting key information in headlines or bullet points can help to improve customers' ability to understand what they are reading.
“All too often customer communications are so technical that even the most astute consumer would struggle to understand the information,” said the FCA’s strategy and competition director Christopher Woolard.
“Communications play a fundamental role in helping consumers make decisions about the products and services they buy which is why it’s so important that we work with firms to get this right.”
But the regulator admitted that it is sometimes part of the problem. Some instructions and legislation issued by the FCA require firms to provide customers with information about products or services. It said the language included in those rules can often be difficult to understand for customers.