'Jargon Free, Plain English' May Help Financial Choices
NEW YORK -- From selecting a financial adviser to applying for a credit card, most consumers would be more interested if "jargon-free, plain-English" explanations were offered.
According to a survey of 1,214 American homeowners and investors conducted by branding firm Siegel+Gale between Dec.29, 2008 and Jan. 5, 84% said they are more likely to trust a company that uses jargon-free, plain English in communications.
Three-quarters of survey respondents (75%) said that complexity and lack of understanding have played a significant role in the current financial crisis. Sixty-three percent felt that "banks, mortgage lenders and Wall Street intentionally make things complicated to hide risks or to keep people in the dark."
The survey asked how much of an impact clearer explanations and disclosures would make on consumer interest in a number of categories. Consumers reported:
-a 79% increased interest in investing in a financial product
-a 73% increased interest in selecting a broker or a financial advisor
-a 67% increased interest in purchasing a life insurance policy
-a 63% increased interest in taking out a loan
-a 63% increased interest in applying for a credit card
In line with President Barack Obama's announcement yesterday calling for more government transparency, 79% said it is "very important" that he "mandate that clarity, transparency, and plain English be a requirement of every new law, regulation and policy."