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How can Financial Services Benefit from Financial Translation?

By Neil Gauld, 

With globalisation comes the opportunity for businesses to expand their horizons and reach a much wider audience—the traditional financial sector included.

However, with the increase in usage of fintech products and services especially after the pandemic hit, competition has become stronger than ever. Surviving this disruption calls for financial services to get creative with their solutions and adapt. Financial translators play a major role in this.

Customers these days expect more personalised and nuanced engagement so they can continue building a relationship with financial institutions. Without localising your services, communication barriers will be reinforced, your brand will not take off, and your competitors will overtake you.

The Limits of AI and The Case For Financial Translators

While Google Translate and other tools are evolving and can be reliable for simple translations, financial services are another matter entirely. Artificial intelligence is not yet at a level where it can provide cultural and contextual translations, especially to financial terms. 

In fact, the cost of inaccurate translations and reliance on free tools online can be dire. Punctuation mistakes can change the context of an entire document, ambiguous branding messages will not let you connect with the local market, and worst of all, your security can be compromised.

Adept financial translators are, therefore, needed for:

Terminology and numbers 

Terminology is complex in the financial field, even for native English speakers. There are terms that are also not universal, while some do not even have equivalent terms in other languages. The same goes for numbers. In terms of numerical value, for instance, “1,500” is read as one thousand five hundred in British English, but it would be read as “1.5” in some parts of Europe. Meanwhile, what we refer to as a “Cash Machine” in the UK is called an “ATM” in the US, while our “Current Account” is referred to as “Checking Account” by Americans.

These may sound like small details, yet they can change the meaning of a number, an equation, a sentence, or even the entire document. This makes expert translation agencies all the more valuable as they know these distinctions with terms and numerical figures. They can also find a suitable word or phrase in case there is no direct translation.

Legalities

Wading through unknown legal waters not only requires a deep understanding of a foreign jurisdiction’s financial legislation, but also the ability to communicate your products and services, as well as your contracts and agreements. 

In any legal document, the language must be precise—an area where translation agencies can be of huge help. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in legal proceedings and spending a lot of money over a disputed word or two.

Style and tone

Translators do more than simply translate a document and then call it a day. They also pay attention to the style and tone of the document, taking into consideration its intended meaning and its target audience. 

A document that’s meant for bank employees, for instance, requires a different style compared to a document meant for the end customer. The former can include technical jargon, legislations, and regulations as they were trained to understand these terms. Customers, however, require more clarity and less jargon usage.

Consistent branding

Breaking into a global market requires consistent branding across all your foreign branches. Your brand needs to be recognisable to be successful. This is why even big banks like Barclays or HSBC invest in translators. With consistency comes trust, as customers can expect the same messaging and services regardless of location.

With translators, you’ll be able to localise your marketing campaigns and customer communications, whether that’s through subtitles for educational videos, translating your branded content in a way that the local market can relate to, or explaining your offer in the local language.

Confidentiality

One of the biggest risks with financial translations is security. Unlike translating a simple sentence or two in another language using Google Translate, the documents you have contain sensitive information that hackers would love to get their hands on. 

Take, for instance, this incident with a Norwegian oil company that used a free translation tool only to find out that the document is accessible to anyone who searches for it on Google.

Translation agencies have layers of security built into their process, especially when working with financial firms. This includes signing a Confidentiality Agreement (NDA) and having an ISO 27001 certified server that houses your documents safely whilst giving you complete visibility at every stage of your project.

4 Financial Services That Can Benefit From Financial Translations

Similar to fintech, services provided by banking and financial firms are global. For clear communication with local customers, you need to have financial translators on your side. Here are four services translation agencies can help with:

1. Asset Management

When you invest on behalf of your clients or you offer them products that they may not have access to elsewhere, they need instant and accurate information so they can decide where to allocate their funds. 

The problem lies in overseas assets that are likely presented in a language your clients do not speak. With the right translation agency on your side, you can provide any document your investors might require whenever they need it, including asset management policies, annual reports, policy documents, asset management plans, proposals, prospectuses, and many more. 

2. Investment Banking

Investment banking runs 24/7 around the globe. This kind of fast-paced service requires partnering with a translation agency that can handle projects with tight turnaround times and understand the needs of local clients. You’ll also need translators who can work with utmost confidentiality whilst keeping communication lines open to help facilitate investment activities for your global investors. 

With an expert financial translator, you can have documents translated in their native language like mergers and acquisitions due diligence, research on publicly traded bonds and stocks, initial public offerings, underwriting agreements, prospectuses, equity research, pitch books, and many more.

3. Commercial Banking

With clients all over the world, commercial banks need vital documents and branding materials translated to cater to the requirements of a wider consumer base. Accuracy and clarity are needed or customers will not entrust their finances with you. 

Financial translators take into consideration the differences in language and cultural norms that are otherwise impossible to navigate without being a native yourself. You can have your marketing materials and websites translated, as well as your privacy and security policies, cash flow statements, marketing collateral, eLearning materials, auditor reports, commercial agreements, and contracts. You can also have tax legislation and other legal documents translated to help you transition to running your firm in foreign countries.

4. Insurance

Multinational insurance firms contend with challenges that involve managing several insurance products from health to life to car insurance. Apart from clients expecting high quality service and security, you also have to deal with affiliates, subsidiaries, and agencies. People will not trust an insurance firm if they cannot fully understand any information shared with them.

To facilitate smoother transactions across the globe, translation agencies who understand the intricacies of the insurance world can help you with all your marketing and technical documentation.

Your Partner For Global Expansion

Financial services are indispensable in the modern world. However, for clients to keep building a relationship with any financial firm, a high level of trust must be established. This is where financial translators come in. Translation is a sensitive area that requires precise language combined with expertise in the field. It’s more than just adapting to another vernacular; it calls for cultural sensitivity, understanding the target audience, and the capability to find a suitable word or phrase when there’s no direct translation—all in the pursuit of winning the client’s trust.

For the past two decades, our expert linguists have helped global brands extend their reach. Our financial translators have specialised knowledge in finance, as well as banking procedures and policies. We can help you gain the trust of your international consumers by localising your products and services whilst taking into account the local market’s cultural and lingual nuances. Get in touch with us today.

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