Banking For Juveniles: Financial Jargon Confuses Readers, Study Finds

From Mediapost with Ray Schultz
Published: January 4, 2019

Original Post: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/330082/banking-for-juveniles-financial-jargon-confuses-r.html


If you had trouble wading through Moby Dick as a kid don’t count on understanding emails from your bank.

The Herman Melville classic is easier to read than content from some banks, according to a new study by VisibleThread.

It’s not clear who that reflects on more poorly — the banks or their customers. But it should scare copywriters.

In old-time journalism training, they taught us that most people had an 11 year-old reading level. That’s now up to age 13 — the study puts the average at 8th grade. Yet the bottom ten banks aim for a 10.8 grade level, which means age 15 or 16 — way too high.