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Glossary of terms

If you are new to the world of business savings and some of the terminology has your head in a spin, our glossary of popular savings terms is here to decode the lingo!

  • Annual Equivalent Rate (AER)

    AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate. It shows what the interest rate would be if your interest was paid and compounded once a year. You can use the AER to compare accounts.

  • Annual Interest

    Interest on your savings will be paid once each year. At Bath Building Society we pay annual interest on our standard savings accounts on 31st December.

  • APS

    APS is short for Additional Permitted Subscription and is available for the surviving spouse of a deceased customer.  To understand more please contact the team.

  • BACS

    Bankers Automated Clearing System payments are for routine, regular payments that aren’t time-sensitive. These only operate during business days and take 3 days to clear.

  • Balance

    A balance is the amount of money present in an account.

  • Bank of England Base Rate

    This is the Bank of England’s official interest rate and is commonly known as the Base Rate. It is set by the Monetary Policy Committee.

  • Base Rate

    A ‘base rate’ is a variable interest rate set by individual banks and building societies and is used as a reference when lending to borrowers.

  • Beneficiary

    In the context of Trust, this is the person who will benefit from proceeds.

  • Bonds

    A bond is a loan from our customers to us. We use the money for our organisation and the customer receives interest on the investment.

  • Building Society

    A building society is a financial institution that offers many of the same products and services as a bank, with a particular focus on savings and lending for mortgages. Building societies don’t just exist to turn a profit, rather they exist to help people achieve their life goals.

  • Building Society Association (BSA)

    The BSA represents the UK building societies. The objective of the BSA is to push for the best outcomes for building societies. They work with, amongst others, the UK Government.

  • Capitalisation

    Capitalized interest is interest that is added to the total cost of a long-term asset or loan balance. This makes it so the interest is not recognised in the current period as an interest expense.


    CHAPS stands for Clearing House Automated Payment System. CHAPS is the bank-to-bank transfer system that runs through the SWIFT network. These should clear the same day.

  • Clearing

    Clearing is a process designed to ensure the correct and timely transfer of funds from one account to another.

  • Compound Interest

    Compound interest is where interest is paid against the initial money entered into the customer’s account and also paid against the interest that the customer receives.

  • Confirmation of Payee (CoP)

    CoP is a service that checks account and reference details when a new CHAPS, Faster Payment or standing order is set up.

  • Deposit

    This is any payment into your savings account. Deposits can be made by cash or cheque, electronically by standing order, or internal transfer from another Bath Building Society savings account.

  • Electronic Payment

    An electronic payment is a non-cash payment that doesn’t involve a paper cheque. Methods of electronic payments include credit cards, debit cards and faster payments.

  • Faster Payment

    This is a UK payment clearing scheme for payments made electronically. It reduces payment times between different banks’ customer accounts from three working days using the BACS system, to typically a few hours.

  • FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the conduct for financial services firms and financial markets in the UK. Its aim is to make markets work well – for individuals, for business, and for the economy as a whole.

  • FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme)

    The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme for customers of UK authorised financial services firms. The FSCS compensates customers if a firm has stopped trading or does not have enough assets to pay claims made against it.

  • Fixed Interest Rate

    A fixed interest rate means you will receive the same rate of interest for a fixed period of time.

  • Gross Interest Rate

    The gross interest rate is the amount of interest you will earn before income tax is deducted.

  • HMRC

    Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Responsibilities include the collection of taxes such as income tax and corporation tax for the UK.

  • Instant Access

    Where you can withdraw money from your savings account without having to give any notice.

  • Interest

    This is a charge that borrowers pay lenders for a loan. When it comes to our savings customers, we are the borrower, and they are the lender. We pay interest to our customers for the money that is in their accounts.

  • Interest Rate

    This is how much you will earn on your savings as a percentage amount.

  • ISA (Individual Savings Account)

    An ISA is a Government scheme that allows you to save without paying tax on your savings.

  • ISA Allowance

    This is the annual deposit limit set by the Government. In the current tax year you can save up to £20,000 in an ISA.

        • Maturity

          When your Fixed Rate Savings account reaches the end of its fixed term.

        • Members

          With a mutual, each customer is considered a member, which means that the company operates solely for the benefit of the customers.

        • Min/Max Amount

        • Monthly interest

          This is where the interest on your savings is paid on the last working day of each month.

        • Mutual

          A mutual is an organisation based on the principle of mutuality. Members of the mutual usually do not contribute to the capital of the company by direct investment, but derive their right to profits and votes through their customers relationship.

        • Nominated Bank Account

          A nominated account (NBA), or linked account, is the current account that is linked to a customer savings account. Any money put into the savings account needs to come from the NBA. Any withdrawals must be paid to the NBA.

        • Notice Account

          Savings accounts where you will have to serve a period of notice to the Society before you can withdraw your money without penalties.

          • P.A

            Stands for Per Annum. So if the interest rate is 1.2% p/a it means that’s the amount of interest you will earn per year.

          • Passbook

            Generally our branch based savings accounts come with a passbook. A passbook lets you record the deposits and withdrawals you make on your account. We recommend that you have your passbook updated at least once a year.

          • Payment

            The transfer of money from an account.

          • Personal Savings Allowance

            The personal savings allowance was introduced in 2016 so most people no longer have to pay tax on their savings income. The allowance is £1,000 of savings interest per year for basic rate taxpayers and £500 of savings interest per year for higher rate taxpayers. (There is no allowance for additional rate taxpayers). Interest from ISAs doesn’t count towards your personal savings allowance because it’s already tax-free.

          • POA (Power Of Attorney)

            If you appoint a Power Of Attorney, you are appointing someone to act on your behalf. It is only valid while you still have mental capacity to make your own decisions about your finances. Formal documentation is required to appoint Attorneys.

          • PRA

            The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of around 1,700 banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. An aim of the PRA is to promote the safety and soundness of the firms it regulates.

              • Settlor

                The person who sets up a trust and settles or transfers the trust property on or top the trustees for the benefit of beneficiaries.

              • Signatory

                Is a person who is authorised to manage a customer’s bank account but isn’t the customer themselves. This will most often be a parent or guardian.

              • Statement

                A document from the Building Society that covers a specific time period, usually a month or year. It shows the activity on the account for this time period.

              • SWIFT

                Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication created to provide a standardised and secure way of sending international payments.

              • Tax Free

                The interest you earn on your savings is free from income tax.

              • Tax Year

                A “tax year” is an annual accounting period for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. This is between April 6th and April 5th in the following year.

              • Term

                Term usually refers to the life of the product. This could either be for a set length of time e.g. one year or to a specific date in the future.

              • Tiered Interest rates

                A tiered interest rate means you will earn one rate based on your account balance.

              • Transfer

                A transfer is the movement of funds from one place to another.

              • Trust

                A trust is a legal relationship created by a settlor when assets are placed under the control of a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary, or for a specified purpose.

                • Variable Interest Rate

                  A variable interest rate means the rate you receive when you open the account could change. We will always let you know in advance if this happens.

                • Withdrawal

                  This is when you take money out of your savings account.

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