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Glossary of terms

If your head is spinning with jargon, our glossary of popular savings terms is here to help you understand 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Deposit

    This is any payment into your savings account. Deposits can be made by cash, 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 businesses 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 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.

  • Monthly Interest

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tax Free

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

  • 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 a different interest rate depending on the account balance.

  • 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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