Association of International Life Offices
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Not sure about a name or phrase used in our documentation or website? Or perhaps you’ve come across some financial terminology elsewhere that you’re not familiar with? Find out its meaning in our glossary below and if there is a word not in there you think needs adding please do contact us.


Estate (UK-Specific)

For inheritance tax purposes this means the combined total of a person's assets and property on death.


This describes any international corporate or government bond that is denominated in a currency held outside its country of origin.

European Banking Authority (EBA)

One of three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), the European Banking Authority (EBA) is an independent EU Authority which works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector. Its overall objectives are to maintain financial stability in the EU and to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector.

European Central Bank (ECB)

The European Central Bank (ECB) manages the Euro. It frames and implements EU economic & monetary policy. Its main aim is to keep prices stable, thereby supporting economic growth and job creation.

European Commission

The European Commission is the EU's politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

European Council

The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU's political agenda. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries. One of the EU's 7 official institutions, the Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by a permanent president.

European Court of Auditors (ECA)

As the EU's independent external auditor, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) looks after the interests of EU taxpayers. It does not have legal powers, but works to improve the European Commission's management of the EU budget and reports on EU finances.

European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

The EU institutions and bodies sometimes process citizens' personal information - in electronic, written or visual format - in the course of their duties. Processing includes collecting, recording, storing, retrieving, sending, blocking or erasing data. It is the task of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) to uphold the strict privacy rules governing these activities.

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an EU advisory body comprising representatives of workers' and employers' organisations and other interest groups. It issues opinions on EU issues to the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, thus acting as a bridge between the EU's decision-making institutions and EU citizens.

European External Action Service (EEAS)

The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the EU's diplomatic service. It aims to make EU foreign policy more coherent and effective, thus increasing Europe's global influence.

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)

One of three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), EIOPA's core responsibilities are to support the stability of the financial system, transparency of markets and financial products, as well as the protection of policyholders, pension scheme members and beneficiaries. EIOPA is commissioned to monitor and identify trends, potential risks and vulnerabilities stemming from the micro-prudential level, across borders and across sectors. EIOPA is an independent advisory body to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is jointly owned by the EU countries. It seeks to: boost Europe's potential in terms of jobs & growth support action to mitigate climate change promote EU policies outside the EU.

European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about poor administration by EU institutions or other EU bodies. These may be lodged by citizens or residents of EU countries or by EU-based associations or businesses.

European Parliament

The European Parliament is the EU's law-making body. It is directly elected by EU voters every five years. The Parliament has three main roles: Legislative, Supervisory and Budgetary.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

One of three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), ESMA is an independent EU Authority that contributes to safeguarding the stability of the European Union's financial system by ensuring the integrity, transparency, efficiency and orderly functioning of securities markets, as well as enhancing investor protection. In particular, ESMA fosters supervisory convergence both amongst securities regulators, and across financial sectors by working closely with the other ESAs competent in the field of banking (EBA) and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA).

European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs)

From January 2011, the regulation of financial services across Europe has been overseen by three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). The ESAs are: the European Securities and Markets Agency (ESMA), the European Banking Agency (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).

Exchange-traded fund (ETF)

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is an equity-based product combining the characteristics of an individual share with those of a collective fund.

Exempt Transfer (UK-Specific)

A transfer of assets which is not subject to inheritance tax.

Exit Charge (UK-Specific)

The tax charge made when there is a distribution from a discretionary trust.