03 October, 2016 Tips and Vocabulary Erin O'Neill

Banking and finance

Learning how to communicate specifically for business can be as difficult as learning a new language itself. From presentations to meetings, and small talk to appraisals, there are a lot of business situations that can make it a real disadvantage to be a non-native speaker in the office. Finance and banking are two specific areas that require knowledge of very particular vocabulary if you want to get by. We’ve put together some of the essential finance and banking vocabulary to brush up on if you want to get ahead in these industries.



Within banking and finance, arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets.

E.g. Buy and sell assets using arbitrage.



Something that is said to hold positive economic value.

E.g. Assets can include cash, stock and inventories.



Facing a complete lack of finance.

E.g. The company faced bankruptcy if it did not shape up its finances.



A certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation.

E.g. The government was using bonds to fund its new project.



In economic terms, a state of financial prosperity.

E.g. There was a big boom during the January sales.



Financial assets needed to produce goods and services.

E.g. The business had enough capital to buy another property.



Owing something, usually money.

E.g. Three of the biggest companies in town were in debt.



A decrease in value of an asset due to obsolescence or having been used up.

E.g. Be wary of depreciation of fixed assets.



The earnings of a corporation that are then distributed to its shareholders.

E.g. I receive a dividend from them every month.


Hedge fund

An investment partnership between a small number of large investors that often uses high-risk techniques such as short-selling and heavy leveraging.

E.g. Hedge funds are risky but they can pay off.


These are just a few of the many tricky finance and banking vocabulary you might stumble across if you’re pursuing studies down this avenue. Use this article as a cheat sheet to help you out if you ever get stuck by some tricky words. If you’re interested in learning English for Work in more depth, try our course at TLG, or you could even look into our English for Finance elective.

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