Definition of finance noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪnæns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪnæns//
    ; BrE BrE//faɪˈnæns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//faɪˈnæns//
    ; BrE BrE//fəˈnæns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fəˈnæns//
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  1. 1  (especially British English) (usually North American English financing) [uncountable] finance (for something) money used to run a business, an activity or a project Finance for education comes from taxpayers. The project will only go ahead if they can raise the necessary finance.
  2. 2  [uncountable] the activity of managing money, especially by a government or commercial organization the Minister of Finance the finance director/department a diploma in banking and finance the world of high finance (= finance involving large companies or countries) Culturebanks and bankingIn Britain, the central bank, which acts as banker for the state and commercial banks, is the Bank of England. The Governor of the Bank of England advises the government on financial matters. The bank sets national interest rates (= the cost of borrowing money) and is responsible for issuing banknotes.The main commercial banks, called clearing banks or high-street banks, are NatWest, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC. These are known as the 'big four' and have branches in most towns. Former building societies that became banks in the mid 1990s, such as the Halifax, now compete with them for customers. Other building societies, such as the Nationwide, also offer banking services, as do several supermarkets and stores, such as Tesco or Marks & Spencer. First Direct is a bank that is only phone- and Internet-based. Many people now bank online, and may rarely go into the local branch of their bank, as they can get cash from cash machines in many places. People can use a current account and. for savings, a deposit account.The high-street banks offer bank loans for individuals and small businesses. Merchant banks deal with company finance on a larger scale.In the US there are thousands of banks. This is because banks are prevented by law from operating in more than one state. Some banks get round this rule by forming holding companies which own banks with the same names in different states. Unlike British banks, American banks are banks of deposit and credit and do not build up capital. Banking is dominated by large money center banks, such as Chase, which raise money by dealing in the international money markets and lend it to businesses and other banks.The US central bank is the Federal Reserve Bank, often called the Fed. In addition to the national Fed in Washington, DC, there are 12 regional ones. The Fed tells commercial banks how much money they must keep in reserve and decides what rate of interest to charge when lending them money. This affects the rate of interest the commercial banks charge their customers.In the US people keep their accounts in commercial banks which must have a charter (= permission to operate) from the US or a state government. Each state decides whether to allow branch banking, i.e. to allow customers to do business at any branch of a bank, not just the one where they have their account. People also keep money in savings and loan associations. The most common accounts are checking and savings accounts.After the global financial crisis in the years after 2008, banks were severely criticized for the part they had played in causing the crisis, and their reputation has suffered. They are also criticized for giving very large bonuses (= extra payments in addition to salary) to their top managers when this may not be deserved. Culturethe CityThe business and financial centre of London is called the City or the City of London. It covers an area in east central London north of the River Thames, between Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge. It is only about one square mile/2.5 square kilometres in size and is often referred to as the Square Mile.Many financial institutions have their head offices in the City, including the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, the London Stock Exchange in Old Broad Street and Lloyd's of London in Lime Street. Many banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers (= companies that buy and sell shares for others) have been in the City many years. When journalists talk about ‘the City’ they are usually not referring to the place but to the people involved in business and commerce, as in: The City had been expecting poor results from the company. In fact, the financial businesses and organizations that are based further east,from the Square Mile, in the area known as Canary Wharf are also included in this extended use of the term ‘the City’.In the City old and new buildings stand next to each other. The most famous older buildings include St Paul's Cathedral, the Guildhall and the Mansion House, where the Lord Mayor of London lives. Tower 42, which is 600 feet/183 metres high, and the Swiss Re Tower, nicknamed ‘the Gherkin’, are two of the City's more recent landmarks. The Shard building, on the south side of the Thames, was opened in 2013 and is currently the tallest building in the European Union. The Barbican Centre includes an art gallery, a theatre and a concert hall, as well as flats/​apartments.Few people live in the City and at night the population is about 7 000. During the day it rises to about half a million, as business people commute (= travel from home to work) to the City by car, bus and train. In the past the traditional image of the City gent was of a businessman in a dark suit and bowler hat, carrying a briefcase (= a leather case for papers, etc.) and a newspaper or an umbrella. The expression She's something in the City means ‘She has an important job with a bank or firm of stockbrokers ’, and suggests wealth and high social status.
  3. 3  finances [plural] the money available to a person, an organization or a country; the way this money is managed government/public/personal finances It's about time you sorted out your finances. Moving house put a severe strain on our finances. The firm’s finances are basically sound. CollocationsFinanceIncome earn money/​cash/(informal) a fortune make money/​a fortune/(informal) a killing on the stock market acquire/​inherit/​amass wealth/​a fortune build up funds/​savings get/​receive/​leave (somebody) an inheritance/​a legacy live on a low wage/​a fixed income/​a pension get/​receive/​draw/​collect a pension depend/​be dependent on (British English) benefits/(North American English) welfare/​social securityExpenditure spend money/​your savings/(informal) a fortune on… invest/​put your savings in… throw away/​waste/ (informal) shell out money on… lose your money/​inheritance/​pension use up/ (informal) wipe out all your savings pay (in) cash use/​pay by a credit/​debit card pay by/​make out a/​write somebody a/​accept a (British English) cheque/(US English) check change/​exchange money/​currency/(British English) traveller’s cheques/(US English) traveler’s checks give/​pay/​leave (somebody) a depositBanks have/​hold/​open/​close/​freeze a bank account/​an account credit/​debit/​pay something into/​take money out of your account deposit money/​funds in your account withdraw money/​cash/£30 from an ATM, etc. (formal) make a deposit/​withdrawal find/​go to/​use (especially North American English) an ATM/(British English) a cash machine/​dispenser be in credit/​in debit/​in the black/​in the red/​overdrawnPersonal finance manage/​handle/​plan/​run/ (especially British English) sort out your finances plan/​manage/​work out/​stick to a budget offer/​extend credit (to somebody) arrange/​take out a loan/​an overdraft pay back/​repay money/​a loan/​a debt pay for something in (especially British English) instalments/(usually North American English) installmentsFinancial difficulties get into debt/​financial difficulties be short of/ (informal) be strapped for cash run out of/​owe money face/​get/ (informal) be landed with a bill for £… can’t afford the cost of…/payments/​rent fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the mortgage/​repayments/​rent incur/​run up/​accumulate debts tackle/​reduce/​settle your debts
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, from finer ‘make an end, settle a debt’, from fin ‘end’, from Latin finis ‘end’ (in medieval Latin denoting a sum paid on settling a lawsuit). The original sense was ‘payment of a debt, compensation, or ransom’; later ‘taxation, revenue’. Current senses date from the 18th cent., and reflect sense development in French. Wordfinderafford, bank, bankrupt, capital, economy, expense, finance, invest, money, profitExtra examples Local government finance officers found the tax very difficult to administer. Our family finances are not very healthy at the moment. Several banks are providing finance for the housing programme. She struggled to get the necessary finance for her training. The banking and finance sector was booming. The company was under pressure to get its finances in order. The company’s finances are looking a bit shaky. Their finances are (in) a mess. They are not sure how they will raise the finances to go on the trip. We don’t have the finances to go on holiday this year. We don’t have the finances to throw a big party. You may require bridging finance until the sale of your own property is completed. how to plan your finances for a comfortable retirement that most emotive of personal finance issues—taxation the availability of bank finance for small businesses the finance available to local government the need to obtain additional finance the world of high finance Please send all invoices to the finance department. She’s got a diploma in banking and finance. The bank offers advice and guidance on personal finance. The firm’s finances are basically sound.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: finance

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