There’s no magic cure for bad bank communications

There’s no magic cure for bad bank communications

From CNBC with Kelli B. Grant
Published: January 17, 2019

Original Post:

You know you’re in trouble when fictional Harry Potter spells like “expelliarmus” and “wingardium leviosa” are considered more understandable than the terms of your checking account.

Bank websites are chock full of jargon and complex language that the typical customer doesn’t find readable, according to a recent report from VisibleThread. The software company (whose services include readability analysis) analyzed the websites of 50 of the biggest U.S. banks, looking at metrics such a sentence length and ease of reading. They found that 58 percent of bank content is too complex for the typical customer.

Even the best-communicating banks aren’t as readable as “Moby Dick,” according to the analysis, and they’re a far cry from the Harry Potter book series. Banks with the least-readable sites rival an academic paper on chess — but are still light reading compared to the Harvard Law Review.