Swap vs swop

Really now. A financial contract where two parties agree to exchange real or notional cash flows on some agreed basis is a “swap” and not a “swop”.

Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

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    1. They might be acceptable from a formal language perspective, but it is simply not used in the context of financial instruments.
      For example, a google search for “swap site:ft.com” gives 20,600 results. “swop site:ft.com” provides 50 results, many of which appear to be using “swop” in the non financial sense.
      “swap site:bloomberg.com” provides 44,700 hits compared to 48 with the alternative spelling.
      A google trends comparison of the usage in total (not even restricted to financial terms) shows this fairly categorical perspective.
      The UK Telegraph’s style guide prefers swap over swop.
      Finally, and most fundamentally, the ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) uses “swap” exclusively.
      So at some point it just becomes silly to use a word that nobody else uses. The use of “swop” rather than “swap” to reflect financial instruments simply shows up the distance from the actual instruments.

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