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Bank of England jargon far too taxing

For decades now, we at Plain English Campaign have added our voice to those justifiably complaining about jargon in a number of areas. Financial jargon may well be at the top of the list of complaints we’ve received, and things don’t seem to be improving.

And with Brexit officially on the horizon (March/April has been mentioned) we really do need to know what is going on with the country’s banks and, in turn, our own finances.


As usual, the Bank of England hardly help. At a time when we need cold, hard clarity about what’s in store for us, and what is being done to offset market uncertainty, we get the likes of this:

“These developments present a trade-off for the MPC between delivering inflation at the target and stabilising activity around potential. The MPC’s remit requires it to explain how it has balanced that trade-off. Given the extent of the likely weakness in demand relative to supply, the MPC judges it appropriate to provide additional stimulus to the economy, thereby reducing the amount of spare capacity at the cost of a temporary period of above-target inflation.”

That’s from the Bank of England website. If you can understand it, please let us know! We don’t need, as the Bank of England suggests, to ‘eliminate the degree of spare capacity’ – we need them to get rid of their worthless, impenetrable waffle that tells us nothing. There is never an excuse for employing this kind of language. Perhaps the Bank of England’s gobbledygook reveals they’re not really sure what to say about the current financial climate. If so, we’re all in trouble. But the nonsense they regularly feed us is hardly preferable to honesty about banking uncertainty.

While we don’t seriously expect the Bank of England to ditch often complex financial terms, the least we can expect is a plain English explanation. This is our money and our livelihood – particularly once we’re out of the EU. Is it time for the Bank of England to provide a plain English version of their statements? We think so, and we’ll be contacting them for their thoughts.

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