OCBC’s mortgage documents written in plain English

First-time home buyers are getting lots of help these days. Lenders, like OCBC Bank, have made the language used in home mortgage-related documents simple and plain.

OCBC has rewritten in plain English its documents related to securing HDB home loans.

The bank secured the so-called “Crystal Mark” granted by London-based Plain English Campaign to companies that are able to effectively communicate with the public in plain English. The citation is becoming popular in Europe and the US.

The move came after an OCBC study showed that financial jargons and legalese were among the top turn-offs for consumers looking to buy financial products.

The bank said it would now replicate the initiative for its private home loan segment, where clients are expected to put in the biggest investments.

The bank’s housing loan portfolio accounts for roughly 25 per cent of its total loans.

“Worldwide, the financial industry has a problem with communicating clearly and we don’t want our customers to feel like they don’t understand and they might be making the decisions that are not in their best interest. And that’s what we’re focused on – clarity,” said David McQuillen, head of group customer experience at OCBC.

“In general, we’d use words like heretofore and therefore that are really convoluted and difficult to get your heads around and there are much simpler ways, by just saying ‘from now on’, or rather than ‘herein’ you’d just say ‘in’,” he added.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 Jun 2011

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