The Bank That Rewrote The Smallprint

Have you ever read the terms and conditions of a credit card application form before signing it? Chances are you will answer that question with a big fat no. The small print is too long and complicated, words only a lawyer could understand.

OCBC strives to pass the Plain English Test

Have you ever read the terms and conditions of a bank account agreement or credit card application form before signing it?

Chances are most people will answer that question with a big fat no. The small print is too long and complicated, written in words only a lawyer could understand.

Overseas this has created a bit of a problem for some International banks as regulators have woken up to the perils and pitfalls of wordy contracts that customers just don’t understand. Wiser banks are now reviewing their policies and documents.

Leading the way in Asia is Singapore’s OCBC who recently announced their intention to have their Product Risk Disclosure Statements approved by the Plain English Campaign, an organization from the UK that promotes clearly written English.

As reported in The Straits Times:

Mr Lim Wyson, OCBC's head of global wealth management, told a briefing yesterday: "Customers said it's just too painful for me to find out my options for savings and investing.

"Some said it was akin to PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exam) because there was just too much information."

Several OCBC forms and brochures have already earned the Crystal Mark, a process that can take several months to complete.

We can’t praise OCBC highly enough for this common sense approach to consumer banking, hopefully it’s a trend that will catch on.

Image: bplans

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