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  • AER – annual equivalent rate
  • APR – annual percentage rate – rate devised to give consumers a “level playing field” when comparing products. Rate includes fees and ‘all costs of borrowing’.
  • Advance – loan amount
  • Adverse credit – see credit impaired
  • Appointed Representative (AR) – a person or entity that carries out regulated business on behalf of a Directly Authorised business (see Directly Authorised)
  • Arrears – missed mortgage payments


  • BACS – Bankers Automated Clearing Services Ltd. Used for automatic debiting and crediting of accounts
  • BBR – Bank of England Base Rate. See Base rate
  • BTL – buy-to-let mortgage. Loan used to purchase a residential property, specifically for the purpose of renting it out to tenants.
  • Balloon rental – payment made at a specified time as part of a leasing agreement which is significantly larger than the other payments.
  • Bank of England Base Rate – see Base rate
  • Base rate – usually applies to rate set by the Bank of England on a monthly basis and used by banks as a basis for setting loan rates. Can also be applied to an interest rate used by a lender as a starting rate to which a margin is applied according to the perceived risk. See also LIBOR and FHBR
  • Business Angel – An individual acting alone or as part of a group who invests in businesses in order to make a profit. Business angels will also often act in an advisory capacity for that business. Possible source of funding for SMEs
  • Bridging finance – Short-term loan which can be arranged quickly. The loan can be used for many purposes; for example to allow a business to purchase a new commercial property before the original one has been sold, or to allow a buy-to-let investor to purchase at auction. Bridging loans are often expensive and therefore a repayments and an exit from this form of finance needs to considered as a priority. Find out more in Bridging Finance Explained.


  • CCJ – County Court Judgement. Appears on a borrower’s credit record for an unpaid debt for which the borrower has been taken to court to recover the monies
  • Consumer Credit Permission – the replacement for what was previously called the Consumer Credit Licence (CCL) which has always been mandatory for NACFB members. Issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Capped rate – during specified period of cap, rate of interest charged on loan may not rise above a specific level
  • Collared rate – during specified period of collar, rate of interest charged on loan may not drop below a specific level
  • Commission – fee payable to introducers for business introduced to lender
  • Contract hire – a leasing arrangement whereby an asset is leased for a set term, rather than for the life of the asset. Usually used for cars
  • Credit impaired – a damaged credit rating due to CCJs, arrears, IVA or bankruptcy
  • Current Account – account with a cheque book offering more flexible facilities than a deposit account. Often also allows payments to be made by standing order or direct debit.


  • DD – direct debit. Method of direct payment where the receiver of the money controls the payment. See also standing order
  • Deeds fee – fee charged by a lender to release the title deeds of a property on the redemption of a mortgage. Can be charged in addition to any redemption penalties.
  • Deposit account – account used to set aside spare funds. Usually pay higher interest than a current account and have restricted access, e.g. a notice period
  • Directly Authorised – a person or entity that is directly regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Discounted rate – variable interest rate mortgage with a lower introductory rate


  • ELI – employers’ liability insurance.


  • FHBR – Finance House Base Rate. An alternative base rate to the Bank of England Base Rate used by lenders as a basis for setting lending rates
  • FCA – Financial Conduct Authority. The Conduct regulator of some types of commercial finance. They are the body who you would approach to apply for Consumer Credit Permission
  • FPO – flexible payment option. Borrowers are able to make overpayments, underpayments or even make additional draw downs during the course of the mortgage. Degree of flexibility varies across lenders and products.
  • FTB – first time buyers. Borrowers without an existing or previous residential mortgage.
  • Factoring – a lender (factor) provides funding to a business against outstanding debtors along with a sales ledger management service. This includes the credit control function including the collection of overdue debts). A factoring facility is usually disclosed to the debtor. See also invoice discounting, recourse and non-recourse
  • Finance lease – a leasing arrangement whereby all the risks and rewards of ownership of an asset are ascribed to the lessee. The lessor expects to recover the costs and profit for the asset in the initial term of the lease.
  • Fixed rate – Interest rate on a mortgage or savings product guaranteed to stay the same for a specific period of time, regardless of movements in the market or any given base rates
  • Firm – sole trader or partnership. Typically unincorporated (not Limited Companies) businesses.


  • HICA – High Interest Cheque Account – a current account, but pays a higher rate of credit interest and less flexible than a standard current account
  • Hire purchase – (also known as lease purchase) a leasing arrangement whereby the lessee pays the lessor a regular amount every month to lease an asset and takes ownership of said asset at the end of the term.
  • HMO – House of Multiple Occupancy. Property purchased to let which houses more than one tenant. Each tenant is subject to individual tenancy agreements. A shared house


  • IVA – Individual Voluntary Arrangement. Agreement arranged by courts and individual to pay back all debts in order to avoid bankruptcy
  • Intermediaries – Professional financial advisers
  • Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) – an unregulated person or entity that can introduce clients to a regulated business but cannot undertake any of the regulated activities themselves. Much more limited in scope than an Appointed Representative (AR).
  • Introductory offers – Specifically applied to business current accounts, introductory offers are periods of free banking offered to new business customers, especially start-ups to attract new business
  • Invoice discounting – Invoice discounting offers businesses cash against unpaid invoices. However, an invoice discounting arrangement is normally undisclosed to the debtor. In addition, the client retains control of the sales ledger management. This product is suitable for larger, more established businesses with good sales management and credit control functions. See also factoring


  • Lease purchase – (also known as hire purchase) a leasing arrangement whereby the lessee pays the lessor a regular amount every month to lease an asset and takes ownership of said asset at the end of the term.
  • LIBOR – London Interbank Offered Rate. The rate at which banks lend money to each other. An alternative base rate to the Bank of England Base Rate used by lenders as a basis for setting lending rates.
  • LTV – loan to value, the percentage of a property’s value a lender will consider advancing


  • MBI/MBO – management buy-in/buy-out
  • MPC – Monetary Policy Committee – Bank of England committee who meet once a month to review the Bank of England Base Rate
  • Margin – rate of interest charged by a lender over and above a given base rate, usually determined by risk perceived by lender


  • Non-recourse – type of factoring/invoice discounting including bad debt protection. The lender (factor) takes the risk for non-payment of the debt. If a factored invoice is unpaid by the debtor, the factor will not claim the monies back from the customer. See also recourse
  • Notice period – the amount of time an institution needs to be given before a withdrawal can be made from an account without additional penalty


  • Portfolio – all investment properties held by a borrower


  • Recourse – type of factoring/invoice discounting whereby the customer takes the risk for non-payment. If a factored invoice is unpaid by the debtor, the factor will reclaim the monies from their customer. See also non-recourse
  • Redemption – paying off a mortgage either in full or in part. Early redemption is paying off the mortgage before the end of its term. This can sometimes incur a redemption penalty. See sealing fee, deeds fee and redemption penalty
  • Redemption penalty – Additional charges made if a mortgage or other finance is paid off in full or in part before a given date.
  • Remortgages – property already owned but mortgage moved to another lender


  • SBICs – Small Business Investment Companies – firms set up to invest in small companies
  • SFLGS – Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme. A Government initiative which assists businesses who have difficulty finding finance due to a lack of security. A lender will advance the funds, and the Government acts as a guarantor for a percentage of the outstanding amount
  • SIPP – Self Invested Personal Pension. A company can choose to invest its pension fund in (among other things) commercial property. The tenant (usually the company itself) will then rent the property from the pension fund.
  • Sealing fee – Similar to a deeds fee. Sealing fee is an additional administration fee charges by a lender on the redemption on a mortgage. Can be charged in addition to any redemption penalties
  • Secured – lending against an asset, where the asset is assigned to the lender as security in event of default. E.g. a commercial mortgage give the lender has the legal right to seize the property if the loan made to purchase the property is unpaid.
  • Self-certification – a borrower certifies their own income. Usually used in cases where the borrower is self-employed and is unable to supply trading accounts. In certain cases a lender is willing to lend money if the borrower self-certifies their income. Because the associated risk with this kind of product is higher, the rates charged by the lender tend to also be higher
  • SME – small and medium sized enterprises
  • Start-up – new small businesses, usually less than 12 months old


  • VCT – Venture Capital Trust. Body set up to invest in businesses in order to make a profit. Potential source of finance for SMEs
  • Variable rate – interest rate that can move in line with any fluctuations in the market, e.g. adjustments in Bank of England Base Rate



  • ABI – Association of British Insurers
  • AMI – Association of Mortgage Intermediaries
  • ACAS – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
  • ARLA – Association of Residential Letting Agents
  • BBA – British Bankers’ Association
  • BCC – British Chambers of Commerce
  • BFA – British Franchise Association
  • BPPG – Better Payment Practice Group
  • CBI – Confederation of British Industry
  • CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • CML – Council of Mortgage Lenders
  • CPD – Continuing Professional Development
  • DTI – Department of Trade and Industry
  • FDA – Factors and Discounters Association
  • FLA – Finance and Leasing Association
  • FPB – Forum of Private Business
  • FCA – Financial Conduct Authority
  • FSB – Federation of Small Businesses
  • HSE – Health and Safety Executive
  • IBA – Institute of Business Advisers
  • ICO – Information Commissioner’s Office
  • IIB – Institute of Independent Business
  • LSC – Learning and Skills Council
  • MPC – Monetary Policy Committee
  • NBAN – National Business Angels Network
  • OFT – Office of Fair Trading
  • OPAS – the Pension Advisory Service
  • OPRA – Occupational Pensions Advisory Service
  • RICS – Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • SBS – Small Business Service
  • TUC – Trade Union Congress

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