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Face value

The term used to describe the value of a bond when it matures, also known as the 'nominal' or 'par' value.

Fee-based adviser

An independent financial adviser who charges a fee for advice, rather than earning commission from financial companies for selling their products.

Final salary scheme

An employer-provided pension, in which your retirement income depends on how long you’ve been in the scheme and how much you’ve earned in the last few years. Also known as a defined benefit scheme.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

This deals with complaints from customers of all UK-regulated financial firms, and can order firms to compensate customers if it finds them to be in the wrong.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The UK financial regulator, which authorises all investment firms.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

The safety net for savers and investors in UK regulated firms. It will pay out - up to certain limits - if a firm collapses. It is funded by a levy on financial services firms.

FTSE 100

The index which tracks the share prices of the 100 largest listed companies in the UK. The FTSE 250 measures the performance of the next 250 and the FTSE All Share covers all UK listed companies.

Fixed rate mortgage

A mortgage where the rate of interest is fixed for a set period of time. There may be early redemption penalties if you want to get out of the deal during the fixed rate period.

Fixed rate savings account

An account where the interest rate is guaranteed for a set period at the outset. If you want to withdraw your cash during the fixed rate period, you may face a financial penalty for doing so.


Flotation is the process of making a company's shares available to the general public by obtaining a quotation on the Stock Exchange.

Front-end loading

The initial sales charge you have to pay when you invest in certain funds, such as unit trusts. This charge is mainly for the cost of the adviser. You can avoid paying much of this by investing through a fund supermarket.

Fund supermarket

A platform through which you can invest in Oeics, unit trusts and other investments cheaply. The value comes from the fact that the initial charge is rebated partly or wholly to you.


A form of forward contract to buy or sell a set quantity of shares or commodities in the future, at a pre-agreed price.

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