Business Idioms You Can Bank On

Work life balance choices 462450933In the minds of many the words big business and banking are nearly synonymous and it is little wonder why. The fact that biggest players in the recent Global Recession were banks did not go unnoticed by many, it seems. Along with this preeminence in the business world, however, comes not just a reputation but also a good number of idioms. Here are a few of our favorites:

Banker’s Hours – limited work hours

  • Banks are not the only businesses that keep banker’s hours – many small businesses do the same in order to keep a work-life balance.

Note: As the above example shows, banker’s hours are not limited to their namesake profession but can be applied to any business which keeps limited operating hours (typically from around 9am to 5pm on weekdays).

To Bankroll (Someone/thing) – to provide financing

  • Many famous actors make unimaginative – but high-grossing – thrillers in order to bankroll pet project that they know will barely break even (but may get them a lot of attention from the critics).

Note: The “bankroll” that forms the principal part of this idiom refers to a large bundle of bills rolled tightly.

To Bank On Someone/thing – to be confident that something will happen

  • The Swiss are famous for keeping their trains on schedule so I’m sure that the train will be here on time – you can bank on it.

Note: To origin of this idiom is tied to fact that banks rely on the trust and faith of their depositors to stay in business.

To Call (In) a Loan – when a bank or other lender demands the prompt and complete repayment of a debt

  • Everything was going fine for the small business until their bank decided to call in their loan earlier than expected.

To Float (Someone/thing) a Loan – to provide a loan

  • The bank floated Ben and Jerry a loan so that they could get their business off the ground; without the extra money they would never have made it through the first year.

Liked this post? You can find a complete rundown of all of our business idioms here. Or, check out other resources in our Learn English for Business section.


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