Glossary: O

This section explains terms you might have seen in other parts of this site or in communication you have received from creditors.

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Definition: Occupation

A person’s job, work or profession (for example, a bricklayer, cashier or teacher).

Occupational Pension
Definition: Occupational Pension

See Pensions

Official Use Only
Definition: Official Use Only

Parts of an application form to be completed by the officials of the bank or company making the loan or providing the service. This is not to be completed by the customer.

Definition: Ombudsman

Someone who provides a free and independent service for resolving disputes. There are a number of different Ombudsmen, depending on the issue.

Ombudsman for Children
A regulatory office to ensure that the welfare of children is the priority when policy decisions affecting children are made. The Ombudsman for Children also provides a free service to handle complaints on behalf of children and their families. For more information, see its website

European Ombudsman
Investigates complaints about institutions and bodies of the European Union. For more information, see its website

Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman
Deals with complaints against financial services firms (including financial advisors). It is independent of the Financial Regulator and the financial services industry and the service is free.

The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman looks at the evidence from you and from the firm involved and takes into account all the relevant rules and laws, including the Consumer Protection Code. However, they can only deal with your complaint after you have tried to sort it out with the financial services firm directly. For more information, see its website

Office of the Ombudsman
The Ombudsman responsible for investigating complaints against government departments. For more information, see its website

Press Ombudsman
Provides an independent forum for determining complaints about the press. For more information, see its website

Open Drive Insurance
Definition: Open Drive Insurance

See Insurance

Outstanding Instalment
Definition: Outstanding Instalment

A repayment instalment that has not yet been made.

Definition: Overdraft

If more money is withdrawn from your current account than you have put in, you will be overdrawn. You can ask your bank if they can arrange to lend you money for a short time to be repaid at an agreed interest rate (authorised overdraft).

If you are overdrawn without asking the bank in advance, they may refuse to pay your cheques, standing orders or direct debits and charge you a high interest rate on the money that you owe them. This type of borrowing is best used for a short time only because the cost is usually high and is charged every month on the amount owed.

You should also be aware that, depending on the terms and conditions of your bank account, some banks may take the whole amount of the overdraft as soon as your salary or wages go into your account.

Definition: Overdue

Something that a person does not pay when it is due, or something that should have occurred earlier but has not.

Definition: Overheads

The costs of running a business (such as rent, heating and electricity, advertising and salaries).

Overseas Debt (Brussels Regulation)
Definition: Overseas Debt (Brussels Regulation)

Since the introduction of the Brussels Regulation in December 2000, it has been easier for creditors based in the EU to enforce their debts in other EU countries. If you think this could affect you, then you should seek legal advice as the process of overseas debt enforcement is very complicated. For more information, see the EU website regarding Overseas Debt Enforcement.