BANKING (B2-C1 Lesson)

  • Vocabulary for describing bank accounts and their terms and conditions
  • General vocabulary for interacting with customer service agents

1. Types of Account

a. Can you work out which is the correct word choice for each sentence here?

  • (i) Most people have a checking/ savings account for paying bills and receiving salary payments.
  • (ii) In the UK, a checking account is called a current/ joint account.
  • (iii) For couples who want to share finances, many banks offer a student/ joint account with two named account holders.
  • (iv) A current/ savings account is a useful option if you’re looking to store money for a year or two, because you can usually get interest on the money without taking a lot of risk.
  • (v) A more risky option is to invest in a checking account/ stocks and shares, as you could end up with less money than you invested.

b. Discuss:

  • (i) What are the main differences between the terms and conditions of a checking account and those of a savings account?
  • (ii) Do you have to pay a monthly or quarterly fee for any of your bank accounts?
  • (iii) What is the benefit of investing in stocks and shares, rather than keeping the money in a savings account?
  • (iv) What are the risks of opening a joint account with a partner?
  • (v) Finance journalists often say “It pays to shop around before opening a bank account”. What does this mean, and what are the reasons why they give this advice?

c. Read the short texts. Which type of account(s) would suit these people? What do they need to look for in the terms and conditions, and what do they need to be careful about?

Benny has received a large inheritance from an uncle who recently died. He would like to keep the money safe for when his children are older. He would like the money to earn at least 3% interest per year.

Sam has just graduated, so she will have to give up her student account and start a new one. She’s starting a well-paid job in 2 months’ time, but for now she has $83 in her account and a lot of bills to pay.

Lawrence has just sold his main business for a seven-figure sum. He’s also recently got married, and he and his new spouse are thinking of setting up a new business next year. Until then, he wants his money to earn as much interest as possible.

The photos on this page are by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas and Andrea Piacquadio on

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