Personal Finance

Bank of Ireland seeks to improve the financial wellbeing of the country

Daragh Cassidy

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

The packed Medley venue on Fleet Street was the site for the launch of Bank of Ireland's new Financial Wellbeing Programme on Monday, a €5 million plan of activity by the bank over the next few years which aims to help people improve their financial literacy, capability and confidence.

Bank of Ireland has serious plans to get people talking and learning about personal finance and money. And given that recent research from bonkers.ie shows that less than half of us are confident at managing our finances, we think it’s a great idea.    

So what does the Financial Wellbeing Programme include? 

The programme is part of the bank’s long-term approach to improve the financial wellbeing of consumers in Ireland to enable them to thrive, and will include:

  • A new Financial Wellbeing Centre, an online portal where consumers can get a financial healthcheck, access a range of supports, and get help for managing their financial life. People who take a financial healthcheck will also be able to sign up for seminars and one-to-one financial advisor meetings.  
  • A big expansion of the Bank of Ireland Youth Literacy Programme, which provides young people with access to financial education and practical tools to enable them to learn lifelong skills and make informed financial decisions. This year the bank is making the programme available to every primary and secondary school in Ireland.
  • A national team of Financial Wellbeing Coaches, who’ll support customers and colleagues on the ground through seminars and training.
  • The launch of the Financial Wellbeing Lab - a centre of excellence to trial, pilot and roadtest new innovations to help customers manage their finances, plan for the future and thrive.   

Financial Wellbeing Score

As part of the programme, Bank of Ireland surveyed 2,770 people with Red C in 2018 to gauge the financial wellbeing of the country.

Both customers and non-customers were surveyed across a wide range of ages and demographics.

The research identified four distinct profiles for financial wellbeing:

Profile Score
Struggling 0 - 39
Stretched 40 - 59
Managing 60 - 79
Thriving 60- 80

According to the research, as a country we scored 61, which means we are just about managing financially but not thriving.  

The bank has promised to conduct the research on an annual basis over the next few years to track the financial wellbeing of the country and to see if the bank’s programme is having a positive impact.  

And anyone who uses the Financial Wellbeing Centre to get a healthcheck will get the chance to check their own score.   

Other important findings from the Red C research include:

  • One quarter of those classed as financially struggling are ABC1 consumers, and almost one in five (18%) of Irish households at the higher end of the income spectrum are struggling or stretched with their finances.
  • Almost half (49%) of consumers don’t feel confident about managing their money.
  • Over a third (37%) of consumers feel that financial advice is only relevant for consumers who have large amounts of money to invest.
  • When it comes to personal debt, six in 10 consumers have some debt and one in six have too much.
  • Almost one fifth (18%) of consumers are sometimes or regularly overdrawn.
  • The majority (77%) of consumers hold some form of loan and one in four (23%) have two loans.

Commenting on the programme, Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland said:

“Our purpose is to enable our customers, colleagues and communities to thrive. That means being with our customers every step of the way as they make life decisions.

Financial wellbeing is about what you do with your pot of money, not the size of it. It’s about making sure that you can cover day-to-day expenses, plan for the future and cope with the unexpected, enabling you to do the most with what you have. Our research shows that the majority of people in Ireland are not in as much control of their finances as they want to be."

Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh at the launch of the bank's Financial Wellbeing Programme at the Medley venue on Fleet Street

bonkers.ie welcomes new programme 

You want to make sure your money works as hard as you do and that you look after your money as well as you'd look after your health.

But the first step towards ensuring sound financial capability is financial literacy, so bonkers.ie fully welcomes this new programme of activity from Bank of Ireland.  

Of course at bonkers.ie we've been on a mission to help educate people about managing their money too since we started in 2010.

The guides section of our website is full of useful, easy-to-understand articles and information while we recently wrote a series of articles on our blog on the financial mistakes to avoid in your 20’s30’s40’s or 50’s as well as a list of common money terms everyone should understand. 

Get in touch

How do you feel about the launch of this programme and what do you think your financial wellbeing score would be?

Get in touch and let us know. Comment below, tweet us @bonkers_ie or message us on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. 

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