British terms to American

Some important finance related terms which may not be understood (correctly) in the US.

AGM
An abbreviation of Annual General Meeting. Annual Stockholders meeting.
Building society
A mutually owned (owned by depositors and borrowers) bank.
Chartered accountant
Equivalent to a CPA. See audit.
City, The
The City of London. Also called the Square Mile. The financial centre of London. Equivalent to Wall Street in the US. Used as an adjectivally: e.g. “City analyst”
Current account
Checking account
Gearing
Leverage. Obviously originating from a similar analogy. To gear-up means to increase leverage.
Gilts
British government bonds. A contraction of “gilt edged securities”.
Investment trust
Closed end investment company. The term exists for historical reasons.
Merchant bank
Investment bank. Falling out of use, particularly within the industry itself. Its use may indicate an emphasise the British identity or style of the bank it is applied to.
OEIC
Open ended investment company. Similar to a mutual fund.
Operational gearing
Operating leverage
Ordinary shares
Common stock. The word stock in ambiguous in British English as it can also mean inventory.
P & L
Income statement. An abbreviation of profit and loss account.
PIBS
Permanent interest bearing shares. Fixed interest securities issued by building societies. Broadly similar to the junior debt of other financial institutions but conferring membership of the issuer.
PLC
Public Limited Company. A joint stock company/corporation that, subject to other regulatory restrictions, can sell its shares to the public and list them on financial markets.
Sterling
The British Pound is referred to as the pound sterling, or simply sterling.
Stock
Either inventory, or certain types of security
Unit trust
A type of collective investment vehicle similar to a mutual fund.
Zeros
Zero dividend preference shares (stock). Often issued by investment trusts (investment companies).
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