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

This is a new service and we are still building our library of terms - please let us know any comments or suggestions for new definitions in the page feedback section below.


Electronic money (e-money) is cash or money in digital form. It's typically stored in a user's account and accessed using a card or an electronic device, such as a mobile phone.

Employers’ liability register (ELR)

If you're injured or become ill as a result of your work, you could be entitled to compensation from your employer. Most employers must have employers’ liability insurance to help pay this compensation to you.  If you are unable to get the information you need from your employer to make a claim, see how to find the right insurer.

Endowment policy

A life insurance policy that pays out a sum of money after a certain period of time, or upon the individual's earlier death.

Equity release

Allows you to unlock wealth from the value of your home in later life. There are 2 equity release options; a lifetime mortgage or home reversion. Read more about equity release on MoneyHelper.


A legal arrangement where a neutral third party (the 'escrow agent') temporarily holds assets, such as money or property, on behalf of 2 other parties while a transaction is being completed.


A type of cryptocurrency or 'exchange token'. It's intended to be used as a method of payment. Read more about cryptoassets and cryptoasset scams.

Exchange tokens

Issued by cryptocurrency exchanges. These tokens are usually designed to be used as a means of exchange or for investment. Which is why we refer to them as exchange tokens. Read more about crypto on InvestSmart.

Exchange traded funds (ETFs)

See exchange traded products

Exchange traded product (ETPs)

Exchange traded products (ETPs) are investments that are traded on a stock exchange and which invest in underlying securities or assets. They often passively follow an index or other benchmark, but they may be actively managed. ETPs are complex products - if you're having difficulty understanding ETPs, you should think about whether other investment opportunities might be a better fit for you. If you would still like to invest in ETPs, you should seek professional advice. See MoneyHelper for guidance backed by Government on investment advice.

Exempt professional firm (EPF)

An EPF can carry out regulated activities without needing to be authorised by us. They are instead authorised by a Designated Professional Body. EPFs include firms such as solicitors, accountants, actuaries or chartered surveyors.