A to Z of financial terms

See our definitions to help you understand financial and legal terms.

First published: 20/03/2023 Last updated: 20/03/2023

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Abridged advice

If you're taking advice about transferring your defined benefit (DB) pension to a defined contribution (DC) pension, advisers can offer you a short form of advice, known as abridged advice, to confirm that you are not suited to a transfer. Find out more about what this means.

Account Information Service Provider (AISP)

An account information service provider (AISP) lets you see all your account information from different bank accounts in one place and can analyse your spending. Providers may include budgeting apps or price comparison websites that offer product recommendations. Read more about AISPs.


Carries out regulated activities on behalf of another firm, known as the principal. For example, a mortgage firm (the principal) may appoint a mortgage adviser as an agent. The principal then agrees what activities an agent can do and is responsible for the conduct of that individual (see also tied agent).


A regular, sometimes guaranteed income, which you'll receive throughout your retirement. You can buy an annuity using money you've saved in your pension. Read more about pensions on MoneyHelper, free guidance backed by Government.

Appointed representatives

Some firms on the Financial Services Register are listed as 'Appointed Representatives' (ARs). This means they are carrying out activities on behalf of another firm, known as their 'principal'. The principal agrees what activities the AR can do and is responsible for that business. ARs can have more than one principal.


In the UK, almost all financial firms must be authorised by us. Being ‘authorised’ means that firms must meet certain standards and follow our rules.

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud

A type of scam where a fraudster tricks someone into making a payment from their personal account into an account controlled by the fraudster. The account owner authorises the payment, albeit under false pretences. Read how to protect yourself from scams.