Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: People’s Choice — Worst Brainstrain Communication 2019

Rabo Capital Securities Ltd

Document name

Redemption Notice Letter

Judges’ comment

It really worries me that a financial institution can still send such letters. Customers have the right to understand.

If you were a seasoned investor, you might understand this letter. Even then, you might think it’s poorly written and complicated.

I don’t think this document has just been thrown together — the writer has clearly made an effort to be thorough, accurate, and grammatically correct. However, what’s missing is any effort to make the information easy to understand.

Letters like this used to be the norm, but that’s no longer the case as plain language steadily spreads through the financial sector.

Media statement

The Rabo Capital Securities letter needed to meet a number of strict legal requirements, but we accept we could have simplified its content.

We are also always open to constructive feedback and in future we will try to more effectively balance legal requirements with the need to ensure our communications are clear and easy to understand.

David Johnston
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand