ATM, Bupa, COB, Duracell… these days it seems that acronyms, abbreviations and made up names are absolutely everywhere. Most people associate this linguistic phenomenon with creative industries such as retail and marketing. But don’t be fooled – financial institutions, regulatory bodies and businesses have all been caught up in the abbreviation sensation.

Shorter, snappier – more confusing?

From Weight Watchers to WW, from Lucky and GoldStar Co. Ltd. to LG, from Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike… many of us are unaware that some of our most recognisable brand names were once much longer. While short company names might be easy to remember, it’s also fair to say that all these abbreviations can get confusing.

The world of financial jargon

In recent years, the finance industry has also seen an abundance of acronyms. For example, financial businesses like ours went from being regulated by the PIA, FSA and SFA before they evolved into their current incarnations: the FCA and the PRA.

Financial products such as ISA, SIPP, SSAS, OEIC, and ICVC have also made their appearance, while some financial institutions have taken a leaf out of Nike’s book and shortened their names; in 2002, insurer Norwich Union was reborn as AVIVA. If you’re having trouble cutting through the forest of jargon, don’t worry. We’ll explain everything in plain English.

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