Needless financial jargon holds back manufacturing growth


Research from Wyelands Bank, set up to help small and medium businesses, shows more than two thirds (71%) of mid-sized manufacturers say there is too much jargon in the finance industry.

They say this confusion has resulted in missed business opportunities. Half (51%) of those asked say this jargon has stopped them from getting the financial services they need. More than half (55%) say confusing financial terminology has probably led to missed opportunities for their firm.  

The research, of mid-sized manufacturers turning over £10m-£300m, shows that an inconsistent use of terminology causes real confusion. What’s more, this confusion has stopped businesses from accessing the finance they need to unlock growth. 

Nearly three quarters (73%) feel that different banks use the same terminology for different products and services. Conversely, a similar proportion (71%) feel that identical products are called different things by different banks. 

Iain Hunter, CEO of Wyelands Bank, said: “Business finance does not need so much jargon. Jargon is confusing. It makes it harder for customers to understand what they are looking for or to make the right decisions about what finance they need.  

“Making it easy for firms to raise funds to unlock growth goes to the heart of the productivity debate in the UK. Anything that gets in the way can be detrimental to those firms and to the UK economy.”

Jargon in the finance industry

The research also shows that more than two thirds (67%) of mid-sized manufacturers think that there is more jargon in the financial industry that other business areas. A similar number (65%) believe that banks hide behind financial jargon.  

As a result, some 60% would rather speak to someone outside of their bank about financing options. 

The impact of a lack of finance

The difficulties raising finance have stopped UK mid-sized manufactures from winning new contracts and stifled new job creation.

Each firm said that the difficulties raising finance meant they had missed out on an average of £20 million in revenues and an average of 11 new contracts. These would have enabled each firm to create an average of ten new jobs.

Iain Hunter added: “UK mid-sized manufacturers are struggling to access the finance they need to grow because they are confused by the jargon in the industry.    

“Mid-market firms can have a disproportionate effect on growth and job creation, but they first need to be understood as individual businesses. Wyelands Bank’s approach is innovative yet simple. We give our customers direct access to decision makers to help them unlock growth.”  

According to BDO, the business advisory firm, mid-sized businesses are critical for creating jobs. BDO research shows that in the last year mid-market firms created 534,900 new jobs compared with 191,000 by small businesses and a loss of 157,000 by the FTSE350.

About the research

The study was conducted by Circle Research. The research surveyed 305 UK mid-sized manufacturers turning over £10m-£300m.  Respondents were senior financial decision makers from the following sectors: 

  • machinery and components
  • computers and electronics
  • electrical equipment
  • oil and gas
  • textiles and apparel
  • chemical and pharmaceuticals
  • wood, paper and printing
  • rubber and plastic products

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