A-Z Finance Terms

A service to keep a record of expenditure and income, offered by a bank, post office or building society.
2Accounting period:
Period for which financial statements are prepared (e.g. month, quarter, year).
3Accumulation date:
The period when salary is reinvested in a unit trust, as an alternative than being paid out to investors.
A skilled individual on pension scheme assets and debts, life expectancy and for insurance risk purposes.
5Administration fee:
A sum paid for the time it takes financial employees to make changes to your financial product or service.
This term stands for Additional Voluntary Contribution. Supplementary money that individuals in work related pension schemes can pay to increase their pension benefits 
7After Tax:
The sum of money that is left after a person has paid tax.
An agent in the financial services area is any qualified financial advisor who has been legally empowered to act on behalf of another person.
9All Risks:
Terminology used to describe insurance against loss of or damage to property arising from any unexpected cause except those that are specifically excluded as stated in our A-Z Insurance section.
10Allocation rate:
A proportion of an individual’s money that has been invested into a fund; the balance is spent on remaining charges.
Each coming year.
A consistent sum paid out to somebody from an investment that is linked with a managed fund.
An individual who is making a formal application to apply for something.
This abbreviated term stands for Annual Percentage Rate. A percentage that illustrates the amount of interest and fees associated with a person who pays each year to receive a loan.
This term stands for Approved Retirement Fund. An investment strategy that self-employed individuals, directors of a family firm and certain other individuals buy with the proceeds of their pension plan and can use for retirement. They can allow this plan to grow or they can cash it in from time to time to provide an income.
16Arrangement fee:
A fee that the building society or bank imposes on a customer for arranging a loan.
An overdue sum that has not been paid.
An item of property that is owned by a person or company.
19Asset management:
Asset management is an efficient process of arranging, operating, sustaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets in a cost-effective manner. This service is usually offered by a qualified financial advisor to help an individual earn more money.
An audit can be defined as “an official inspection of an organisation’s accounts, typically by an independent body“.
21Balance Sheet:
Full disclosure of business activities as all types of activity are material fact to the insurer. Some activities may be unusual or infrequent to the business but they still need to be disclosed as these activities may be deemed a higher risk in the eyes of an insurer or underwriter. 
22Balance brought forward:
The sum shown on a person’s last statement that is brought forward to the following statement to display money saved or money owed.
23Balloon payment:
A balloon payment is a large lump sum payment that is attached to a loan.
Not having enough money to pay debts can lead to a declaration of bankruptcy by a court order.
The exchange  of goods or services as a form of payment without using money.
An individual who gives a gift, commonly items of value noted in a will for a beneficiary.
An individual who receives the advantage from something offered by a benefactor, particularly from a trust, will, or life insurance policy.
Benefits in kind are perks which workers or directors obtain from their employment but which are not included in their salary cheque or wages. Examples of benefits include company cars, private medical insurance and cheap/free loans.
A BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code and it identifies the beneficiary’s bank quickly and easily.
30Bid/offer spread:
An early investment charge that refers to the variance between the buying and selling price of a unit on the stock market on any given day. 
31Bid price:
Bid price can be defined as “the price at which a market-maker or dealer is prepared to buy securities or other assets“.
A promise made in writing by governments and businesses to repay any money that is borrowed, with interest, on a certain date in the future.
33Book Value:
A fixed asset’s value, e.g. a building or machine, after depreciation, as logged in a company’s accounts.
To obtain or receive something such as money with the intention of returning / paying it back in full or with interest.
35Bounced Cheque:
A cheque that the bank will not pay out due to the lack of funds in the account associated with the individual who has wrote the cheque. 
36Breach of contract:
Breach of contract can be defined as “a legal cause of action in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contractby non-performance or interference with the other party’s performance”.
37Break even:
The point or state at which a person or company earns as much money as it is spending and has no profit or loss. This is when one breaks even.
38Bridging loan:
A loan provided by a lending institution to ‘bridge’ a time difference between purchasing a new home and selling your current home.
Planning your expenditure over a certain period and basing your spending in accordance with how much money you can reasonably afford to use. 
40Budget deficit:
A budget deficit or gap can occur when a body, often a government, budgets more spending than there is revenue available to pay for the spending, over a specific period. Debt is the aggregate value of deficits accumulated over time.
41Building society:
A building society can be defined as “a financial organisation which pays interest on investments by its members and lends capital for the purchase or improvement of houses“.
42Bureau de change:
An establishment where customers can exchange foreign money.
The sum of money an individual saves, invests or borrows, before interest or loss.
44Capital expenditure:
Currency an establishment spends on buying or improving its fixed assets, such as equipment or furniture etc.
45Capital gain:
Money a company or individual makes if it sells a long-term asset. An example of this would be to sell a property for more than it originally cost. 
46Capital gains tax:
A tax on gifts over a certain value or on a capital gain.
47Capital guarantee:
When a person invests with a guarantee that at the end of the agreed term, the individual will get back at least the sum of money invested.
48Capped charge:
The maximum amount that a pension provider can charge an individual for handling their pension, usually a percentage of the value of an individual’s fund.
49Cash inflow:
The sum of money coming into a business.
50Cash outflow:
The amount of money that is leaving a business.
The total amount of money being transferred into and out of a business.
52Celtic Tiger:
The period of rapid economic growth in Ireland between the 1990’s and early 21st century.
53Child dependant:
Citizens Information define a child dependant as “a child up to 18 years of age who lives with you or a child that is being supported by an adult up to the age of 22 who is in full-time education by day at a recognised school, college or university”.
The period it will take for a bank or building society to transfer money from one account to another usually associated with a person who lodges a cheque.
An asset presented to or wanted by a lender as safety net for a loan, e.g. a house in the situation of a mortgage.
56Company pension scheme:
An employer arrangement where employees pay into a fund that is invested to provide the employee with a pension once they reach retirement age.
57Compound Annual Return (CAR):
The average growth rate of an investment over a measure of years. If the interest on savings is added to the investment, it will be paid at the end of each year.
Consumer price index: An average measure of the typical price of goods and services as purchased by households.
Money that an individual obtains through a lending facility such as a bank or building society to buy goods or services.
60Credit history:
A historical record of how well a borrower’s response to the repayment of his/her debts has been over a certain period of time. A poor credit history might hinder an individual’s chance of receiving a loan.
61Credit risk:
The risk associated with an individual that may not be able to repay his/her debt.
62Critical Illness Cover:
Cover that pays a lump sum, protects an individual’s mortgage or makes consistent payments if a person is unable to work due to a serious illness.
63Current assets:
Money and any additional assets that are anticipated to be converted to cash within the year.
64Current liabilities:
Money due to be paid to creditors within the next 12 months.
65Data Protection Act:
A law that protects personal information belonging to an individual and stops businesses from sharing it with third party companies without the knowledge or consent of the individual in question.
A document delivered by a business, typically to a bank or building society, that recognises that some or all the company’s assets are security for a debt.
67Debt consolidation:
This is a type of debt refinancing that allows you to take out a single loan to pay off several smaller individual loans.
An individual that owes money.
69Declining term policy:
This term relates to a policy which will protect an individual’s mortgage payments and it will end as soon as a mortgage has been paid off.
This is a document which confirms ownership of property, It is typically used/provided as a security measure for mortgages.
When a person fails to pay their debts on time.
72Defined contribution pension scheme:
This relates to a type of pension scheme whereby a person makes monthly payments which pays out an amount related to how much the individual has invested and how well the fund has performed.
73Deposit account:
This is a type of savings account that will pay interest without a cheque book or ATM card.
These initials stand for Deposit Interest Retention Tax. This is a tax that is paid by a bank or building society on the interest an individual receives from saving. The bank will deduct this tax from the interest earned on behalf of the client.
75Deposit rate:
A rate of interest that clients can earn on money that is kept in a bank or building society deposit account.
When an asset drops in value.
77Discounted rate mortgage:
A specific type of mortgage that is typically offered to a new customer where the interest rate is reduced for a certain fixed period of time.
78Disposable income:
This is the amount of income you have left when all of your tax, loans and goods / services are accounted for.
To officially close down a business or institution.
This is when a company pays money to its shareholders out of its profits.
81Earnings cap:
The upper limit on contributions of salary that will be considered when calculating and approving pensions.
European Central Bank – A bank set up to manage policies associated with countries that have converted to using the euro.
83Endowment policy:
A type of saving plan that is activated when a person dies or at a certain date in the future (whichever happens sooner) to pay a lump sum figure that pays off a large debt/loan e.g. a mortgage.
The value of shares issued by a business.
85Exit charge:
There will be a charge imposed if a person decides to cash in on their investment before it matures or its end date has been reached.
86Final demand:
The last time that a company will demand payment before a company cuts off a service or initiates legal action.
87Financial advis0r:
An individual who is qualified to provide financial advice to clients on how to manage and invest their money. This advisor will assess a person’s earnings, current savings and their expenditure to make an informed decision that better suits the client’s financial situation.
88Financial services provider:
Any firm that offers financial services such as insurance companies, building societies, brokers, stockbrokers and credit unions.
89Financial statement:
A business’s statement that will include the directors’ report, annual accounts, etc.
Relates to finances controlled by the government such as taxes.
91Fixed interest rate:
A rate of interest that will stay the same for a fixed period of time even if other interest rates fluctuate.
92Fixed-rate mortgage:
A mortgage type where an individual pays a set amount of interest, so no matter how interest rates fluctuate, the same repayment is made each month.
A sum of money that is set aside for a particular purpose.
Gross Domestic Product is often defined as “the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year”.
Gross National Product is an economic statistic that describes the value of goods and services that have been produced in a country. This figure also includes goods and services sold abroad.
Income before taxes and fees have been taken off.
97Gross interest:
The total interest on savings before tax is taken off.
An undertaking to make payment for another person’s debt if they are unable to pay it.
99Guaranteed interest rate:
A rate of interest that an individual can be sure they will receive on certain savings.
100Hedge fund:
An offshore investment fund that is open to a limited range of wealthy investors. This fund involves risky or short-term investments using credit or borrowed capital to earn as much money as possible. 
International Monetary Fund is an international body that supervises the global financial system to keep international currencies stable and provides temporary loans for developing countries.
102Income tax:
A tax applied on income for a person or company.
103Indemnity bond:
A mortgage lender will request this type of bond as security if an individual does not pay their mortgage on time. The bond is put in place to cover the difference between what an individual owes and what the value of the house is worth.
104Independent financial advisor:
A qualified financial advisor who provides advice on life insurance, pensions and investments. This individual is not employed by a company that is offering these services. However, he/she ensures that a customer seeking professional financial instruction receives non-biased and accurate advice to suit their requirements.
A method of altering the cost of goods and services and the value of savings to allow for the effects of inflation.
An index-linked investment pay-out is typically associated with linking the value of a financial product to an index such as the Consumer Price Index. This will ensure that investments such as pensions, savings accounts and bonds keeps up with inflation rates.
Inflation is a sustainable increase in prices of goods and services over a certain period. This typically happens because of a decrease in the value of currency and when the price level increases, each unit of currency will have reduced purchasing power.
A person or organisation that is unable to pay their debts owed.
109Interest rate:
The percentage that a person is charged for interest on a loan by the lender or the amount of interest a person receives on their savings.
110Interest-free credit:
A loan where no interest is paid for a fixed period.
111Interest-only mortgage:
A type of mortgage where an individual only pays the interest back to the bank or building society for a certain period.
112Interim dividend:
Depending on company profits, a dividend is paid to its shareholders during the financial year.
A person who links prospective clients to financial service providers so that the client can receive financial advice about their insurance needs. This will help the client to select the most suitable policy.
Property or money that is left in a will.
115Life insurance:
A type of insurance that will provide a lump sum to an individual’s family if the person insured dies. This policy is often taken out in conjunction with a mortgage so that the remaining mortgage repayments would be covered in the event of a person passing.
The capacity to convert an asset to cash quickly and easily with little or no loss of value.
117Loan agreement:
A document that is provided to explain the terms and conditions of a person’s loan.
The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is a financial term used by financiers to express the ratio of a loan to the value of an asset acquired. The terminology is generally used by banks and building societies to signify the ratio of the first mortgage line as a proportion of the total appraised value of real property.
119Lump sum:
A once-off sum that an individual may obtain from an investment. An example of this would be a pension, or from an insurance policy such as if a person has a serious accident and is unable to work.
120Managed fund:
An investment fund that is typically managed by an agent on behalf of an investor. 
When a client instructs a bank to operate the customer’s account in a particular way. 
122Market Capitalisation:
The value of a business once the sum of its issued ordinary shares is multiplied by their market price.
A circumstance that can arise when an investment like a term deposit, or a life insurance policy has reached its end.
 It is your financial resources or income. 
A loan that is provided to an individual to buy a property with a condition that the agreement becomes void if the loan is not paid back. This means that the lending agency can then take over the property. 
126Mortgage advisor:
  A qualified financial individual who advises others on the best type of mortgage to select that is suitable for the client’s needs. 
127Mortgage broker:
A qualified individual who will assess a person’s mortgage requirements. The financial advisor will then find suitable lenders and advise on the best mortgage option for the client. 
128Mortgage arrears:
Mortgage repayments that are due/owed but the individual has not yet paid.
129Mortgage protection:
A policy that is compulsory for mortgage holders under the age of 50 to guarantee that a mortgage will get paid if a person should die. 
130Mortgage repayment:
A payment which is made monthly to repay a mortgage loan for a property. 
131Mortgage statement:
A statement that shows the amount of payments, charges and the outstanding balance of a mortgage. 
132Negative equity:
A circumstance where the sum owed by an individual on their mortgage is higher than the value of their property. 
133Negotiable instrument:
A person will sign this document to authorise another to make payment of a certain amount to another organisation or person.
The figure that is remaining after the deduction of all charges etc. 
135Net book value:
This relates to the value of an asset after any depreciation and any other accounting charges. It is recorded in the books of account. 
136Net income:
Your earnings after all expenses have been deducted such as tax, PRSI, pensions etc.
137Non-priority debt:
Less significant debts, whereby a lender may take an individual to court to get reasonable repayments but cannot take other action such as cutting off a service or taking over their home.
138Offer price:
The price an individual or institution pays for each unit when investing in unit trusts.
An appointed official who provides a free and independent service to investigate individuals’ complaints and to find a way to resolve the issue that will have the best outcome for both parties.
A cost or expense typically associated with a business or person e.g. heat and light.
According to Citizens Information Ireland, if you leave your employment your employer must give you a P45 (pdf). This is a statement of your pay and the tax, Universal Social Charge (USC) and PRSI to date deducted by your employer. It is an important document and you need it if:

  • You are changing job – to give to your new employer in order to avoid paying emergency tax
  • You are unemployed – to claim a tax refund, to claim social welfare benefits
Citizens Information Ireland state that an employer must give you a P60 (pdf) within 6 weeks of the end of each tax year. It is a statement of your pay and of the tax, USC and PRSI deducted by your employer during the year. It also records your Local Property Tax (LPT) deductions (if you choose to have the LPT deducted from your pay). The P60 is an important document. If you are claiming a benefit, you would send a copy of it to the Department of Social Protection as evidence of your paid PRSI contributions.
143Payment protection plan:
A policy that is taken out to make loan repayments if the income level drops for the person paying the loan. Typical examples of this would be in situations of unemployment or sickness.
144Penalty-free transfer:
A choice to transfer savings, for example a pension, to another scheme or different provider without having to pay any charges.
A pension is a long-term savings plan that an individual obtains from the state or a private company (or both) once they retire. The person will pay regular or lump sum amounts that are built up over time into a fund and they cannot access these contributions until they reach retirement age.
146Pension calculation table:
A table that gives you an estimate of what a person can expect from their pension once they reach retirement.
147Pension contribution:
A sum of money paid, typically each month or every three months, into a pension fund.
148Pension benefits:
Payments and lump sums that an individual will collect from their private pension.
149Pensionable age:
The age a person is required to reach to claim their retirement state pension.
150Pension deduction:
A sum of money that an employer deducts straight from an employee’s wage to pay into a pension scheme, and is shown on an employee’s pay slip.
151Pension fund:
A fund that is set up to pay employees pensions.
152Pension mortgage:
A pension that is set up to repay your mortgage out of a lump sum.
153Personal allowance:
The sum of income on which an individual does not pay tax, depending on various factors such as their age and whether they are married or have children.
154Personal pension:
A pension that is not linked with employment and that is ongoing even if the employee switches jobs.
155PPS Number:
Personal Public Service Number (PPS number) is a unique reference number for each person in Ireland that helps identify who you are. This is particularly important for matters in relation to accessing social welfare benefits, tax, public services etc.
156Priority debt:
A debt that is more significant than others e.g. a mortgage or an overdue electricity bill.  This enables certain lenders and businesses to take serious action if the debt is not paid on time such as taking over the property or cutting off the service.
An official legal process that involves the management and allocation of a deceased person’s property, as left to the person in a will.
Personal Retirement Savings Account is a savings account that some individuals set up to pay into each month from their income to strengthen their pension; if a company does not already offer an work-related pension, they are obliged to permit their employees set up their own PRSA.
159Rate relief:
A decrease on all or part of a company’s bills for utilities i.e. gas or electricity.
A partial refund to a person who has paid too much for tax, rent, or a utility bill.
A method of bankruptcy where a business’s assets are taken over by a ‘receiver’, typically an accountant or other trustee selected by a court for a company to repay its debts.
Clearing all debt under an agreement.
The process of taking back ownership of something such as a mortgage provider who takes over an individual’s household since they have failed to make their repayments on their mortgage.
164Retirement mortgage:
A retirement mortgage is a lifetime mortgage that allows a person to draw down some money for their retirement based on the home’s value. The individual must also pay off the interest when the house is sold.
A sum, expressed as interest, that an individual receives when they invest or save money.
166Revolving credit:
This term relates to a line of credit that is carried from one billing period to the next. The situation usually depends on a customer’s current cash flow needs and this individual does not make their credit card repayments when they fall due.
167Rights issue:
An issue where extra shares are offered to shareholders at a special rate based on the proportion of shares they already hold.
A situation that involves uncertainty or exposure to risk that is typically associated with loans and certain investments.
169Savings account:
A deposit account in a bank, building society or post office, where a person builds up interest on their savings.
Shares, stocks, debentures etc. that include the right to obtain interest or dividends from the investment.
171Secured loan:
This is a loan that is borrowed against a certain asset such as a property and is used as collateral for the loan, known as security. If the person who has taken out the loan is unable to meet the repayments when they fall due, the lender can take ownership of the asset.
A system for a taxpayer to calculate their own taxable liability.
173Service contract:
A contract agreement covering the maintenance and servicing of equipment over a specified time frame.
An investment entitling the holder to a proportion of the profits and that makes this person part owner of a public company along with the other individuals that have shares.
175Share certificate:
A document that is a certificate issued by a company detailing who owns shares in the business. The key information listed is: the type, amount and serial numbers of shares held.
176Short term:
This relates to a short time period usually no more than up to 5 years in terms of savings and loans.
177Spot rate:
 The current exchange rate for foreign exchange transactions that are actioned immediately.
178Stakeholder pension:
A type of pension plan with lower charges and flexible payments.
179Stamp duty:
A tax levied on certain legal documents e.g.  a duty that is owed when you purchase a house based on the value of the property.
180Standard Variable Rate (SVR):
A type of mortgage interest rate that can fluctuate and that you are most likely to go onto after finishing an introductory tracker, fixed or discounted mortgage agreement.
181Standing order:
A way of paying fixed amounts on a regular basis, for example into a pension fund, by approving a business or another organisation to take money straight from a individual’s bank or building society account, conditional the amount that is in this persons account.
182State retirement pension:
The pension an individual will receive once they reach retirement age.
183Statutory audit:
This is an audit that is required by law and is carried out on a company’s accounts by specific and qualified accountants.
184Sub-prime lending:
Lending to certain borrowers whose credit quality is weakened and thought to be less likely than others to repay a loan e.g. people with poor credit histories or a recorded bankruptcy.
185Subject to status:
Something that depends on an individual’s circumstances e.g. a loan that is subject to a person’s good credit history.
When an employee pays a regular contribution to a pension scheme.
Additional charges from a bank if a customer does not uphold their end of an agreement.
Not unlike a guarantor, Surety relates to someone who accepts responsibility for another person’s debt and guarantees the debt will be paid or fulfilled.
189Surrender value:
When a person cancels a life assurance policy, the surrender value is the amount payable to the policyholder.
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication which currently provides a secure network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information securely about financial transactions.
191Take home pay:
Earnings received by an employee after the deduction of tax, PRSI etc.
192Tax avoidance:
A legal way of arranging one’s financial affairs to reduce the amount of tax a person owes.
193Tax code:
A reference number representing different types of employees to tell how much tax a person should pay over a certain period and how much of their pay is tax-free.
194Tax credit:
The amount of income that can be offset against a tax liability.
195Tax evasion:
This is an illegal method of avoiding tax or underpayment of tax. An example of this is concealing income.
196Tax return:
A form that a taxpayer must complete to record their income and personal circumstances. This form is used by the Revenue Commissioners to assess liability for tax.
197Term deposit:
A deposit held in a financial institution where an individual agrees to leave their savings for a fixed period (term) or face penalties.
198Term assurance:
A life assurance policy that a person takes out for a set period. This policy guarantees to pay out a sum of money should the person die during this term e.g. 10, 20 or 25 years).
199Term loan:
A loan that is borrowed and must be repaid within a specific period e.g. 3-5 years.
An arrangement when several individuals own a property (typically a holiday home abroad) whereby every joint owner has a right to occupy the property for a fixed period.
201Toxic loan:
This term describes a loan that is unlikely to get repaid to the lender i.e. a sub-prime mortgage.
202Tracker bond:
A method of investment where the end value of the fund rests on the performance of shares and where an individual’s original investment is typically guaranteed.
203Tracker variable rate:
A rate of interest that is tracked by checking to see if the European Central Bank rate goes up or down and the lender must update the client on any changes that may arise.
A legal arrangement whereby a person holds property as its nominal owner for the benefit of someone else.
205Unauthorised overdraft charges:
A fee that is charged if a person withdraws money from their account that exceeds the available balance.
206Unit trust:
A fund that is formed by an individual and is invested in buying units. The person’s money is managed by a trust manager who will buy investments. The value of such units will change in line with the value of the fund.
207Unsecured loan:
A loan that does not pledge any specific asset as collateral. If this individual does not make repayments on the loan, the lender cannot take any asset in return. However, the lender does have the option to take this person to court.
208Valuation point:
The specified time and date whereby a fund manager will revalue investments in a fund e.g. a unit trust.
209Variable interest rate:
An interest rate that is likely to fluctuate over time.
This stands for Value Added Tax and it is a tax paid to the government for most goods and services.
The level of variation in the value of a given market; a market that fluctuates in value dramatically in a short period of time is said to have high volatility.
212Whole-of-life policy:
Life assurance that is guaranteed to remain in force for the insured’s full lifetime, provided required premiums are paid.
An official document holding directions on how an individual requests their estate to be distributed after they die.
214Wind up:
The closure of a business or organisation.
215Working capital:
The sum of money accessible to a company, after debts, to allow the business to grow.
The money that is made each year on an investment. This is typically expressed as a percentage.
217Zero rated:
Terminology used to describe goods e.g. books, these are taxed at zero per cent.