Savings terms definitions

Help with savings terms and jargon.

Annual Equivalent Rate (AER)

AER shows what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and added each year. You can use AER to compare the return you would expect to get from your savings over time.


A cash machine, also known as a cashpoint.

BACS payment

BACS is a way of making payments directly between banks. They’re mainly used for direct debits and direct credits.

The Bank of England Base Rate

The base rate is set to keep inflation on target. Changes to the base rate can mean that savings and mortgage interest rates go up or down.


Blended Rate

A blended rate is used when a savings account has more than one tier of interest. For example, you get a certain rate on the first £10,000 of your savings, and a different one on anything above that.


Bonds are a type of savings account. Usually, bonds are for a fixed period, rate, or both.

The Building Societies Association / BSA

The BSA represents UK building societies and credit unions. The BSA's goal is to champion and support its members.

Building Society

A building society is owned by its members. You can become a member of a society when you take out a mortgage or open a savings account with one.

Cash ISA

A Cash ISA is an account where you don’t pay tax on the interest earned. There’s a limit to the amount you can save in a cash ISA. This amount can change each tax year. There’s also a limit on how many cash ISAs you can pay into.


CGT stands for Capital Gains Tax. CGT is a tax on profit you must pay to the HMRC when you sell certain assets.


CHAPS is an electronic bank-to-bank payment system used in the UK. It that lets you make same-day payments, if it’s done by a certain time.

Charitable Foundation

Our charitable foundation (registered charity number 1069082), is independent of the YBS Group. It’s run by two internal and three external trustees. It’s their role to decide which good causes will receive support.


A term for the amount you have in your current or savings account.

Direct Debit

A direct debit lets a bank and a third party transfer money on agreed dates. For example, you might pay your council tax or an electronic bill this way. You may not be able to set up a direct debit on a savings account.


This means an account that is setup and can be managed online.

Easy Access Account

An easy access account is a type of savings account that can have limits on how often you can take out money. They can also have notice periods or a short wait before taking out your cash.

Electronic payments

A non-cash payment that doesn't involve a paper cheque. Methods include:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Faster payments.

Electronic verification system

An electronic verification system helps to check who a customer is. In certain cases, we may need more proof of identity.

Faster Payments Service

This is a UK payment clearing scheme for electronic payments. It reduces payment times between banks from three working days to a few hours.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA regulates financial services firms and markets in the UK.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

The Financial Ombudsman Service is the UK’s official body in resolving problems with financial services.

If a complaint can’t be resolved, the FOS can give an unbiased view. If they decide someone’s been treated unfairly, they have legal powers to correct the matter.

Fixed Rate

This is the rate of interest on offer on a product or account. It means that the interest rate on your account is the same from when you open it until the end of the fixed rate period.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

The FSCS is the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme for customers of UK authorised financial services firms. The FSCS can pay compensation if a building society is not able to meet its financial obligations.

Gross Interest

Gross interest is the amount earned before tax is applied..

Help to Buy: ISA

Help to Buy: ISA is a Cash ISA especially designed for people saving up for their first home. It is a Government scheme which provides an additional bonus subject to certain conditions being met.

His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

The HMRC is responsible for the collection of taxes (such as income tax) for the UK.

Instant Access

A type of savings account where you can withdraw money whenever you want, without losing interest.

Interest Rate

An interest rate on a savings account shows the amount of interest you can earn, shown as a percentage.

Individual Savings Account (ISA)

An ISA is a tax-free account with a set limit on the amount you can save each year. The tax year runs from 6 April one year until 5 April the following year.

ISA transfers

You can transfer your ISA savings between different types of ISA and different providers. Transfers don’t affect your annual ISA allowance. Please make sure you transfer your savings using an ‘ISA transfer’ process. If you make the payment yourself, your money will lose its tax-free status.

If you want to transfer your ISA savings from the current tax year, you must transfer the full balance.

If you’re transferring savings from a previous tax year’s allowance, you can transfer the full balance or part of it.

Loss of Interest

Some products charge a loss of interest if you make a withdrawal. In some cases, you may be able to avoid the loss of interest by giving the right amount of notice.


The date that an account will end. This may either be at a set date in the future or a year on from the account opening. You may be contacted just prior to maturity to remind you.

Notice period

The notice period is the number days you need to give before you can access your money without losing interest.

Online Account

An account you open and manage online. Another name for an e-account.


p.a. stands for per annum. So, if the interest rate is 1.30% p.a. it means the amount of interest that you earn in a year.


Our branch-based savings accounts can come with a passbook. A passbook lets you record when you pay money in or take it out.

Power of attorney (PofA)

If you appoint a power of attorney, you are agreeing that someone can act on your behalf. It’s only valid while you still have mental capacity to make your own decisions about your finances.

Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

The PRA looks after the prudential regulation and supervision of:

  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • Credit unions
  • Insurers
  • Major investment firms.

An aim of the PRA is to promote the safety of the firms it regulates.

Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)

The PSA is the amount you can earn in interest from your savings, without paying tax on it.

Regular Savings Account

A savings account that usually allows you to pay in monthly. The account may have limits on how often and how much money you can take out.

Small Change Big Difference®

Our Small Change Big Difference® (SCBD) scheme allows members to donate to small amounts of money from their savings accounts.

The average donation is less than 50p per year and the maximum is just 99p. Its aim is to make big difference to the lives of others.

Standing Orders

Standing orders are a way of setting up a regular, fixed payment from your bank account. You can set a payment to be taken at a certain frequency for a set amount of time.

You may not be able to set up a standing order on a savings account.


If an account is tax-free, like an ISA for instance, it means that any interest earned is exempt from UK income tax.


Term normally refers to the life of the product. This could either be for a set length of time, like one or two years or to a set date in the future.

Variable Rate

This means that the interest rate on your account can move both up and down.

Verifying your identity

We have to verify your identity when you are opening a savings account. This helps prevent financial crime and money laundering. If we’re not able to identify you using an electronic verification system, you’ll be asked to provide one or more documents to prove your identity and address.


Taking money out of any of your accounts.