One Third of Irish Consumers Are Worried About Their Finances

Bank of Ireland Announce Five Year Financial Wellbeing Programme

  • Programme to support consumer financial capability and confidence
  • €5 million investment will support over 200,000 consumers in 2019
  • Programme to run from 2019 to 2023 as the initial phase of Bank of Ireland’s long-term approach to improve customers’ Financial Wellbeing
  • Bank of Ireland has today announced a new programme to support consumer capability and confidence when it comes to their personal finances. This programme is part of the bank’s long-term approach to improve the Financial Wellbeing of consumers in Ireland, enabling them to thrive.

    The Bank of Ireland Financial Wellbeing Programme – which will run to 2023 – is grounded in nationally representative research* which sheds light on consumer levels of Financial Wellbeing across Ireland. According to the research one third (34%) of people in Ireland are very worried about personal finances, more than half (55%) have no pension, and one in four would last less than a month without having to borrow if they lost their main source of income.

    Key research findings include:

    • Ireland has a national Financial Wellbeing score average of 61. This means that as a nation we are “Managing” financially but not “Thriving”, which is the optimum category of Financial Wellbeing.
    • 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.

    To respond to this challenge, a programme of activity has been developed to help customers improve their financial literacy, capability and confidence, with €5 million devoted to the roll out of the programme in 2019.

    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.

    “Through our programme, we want to help consumers build a better relationship with money, empower them to take control of their daily finances and ultimately support better financial decision making for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Consumers and businesses can improve their financial wellbeing in the same way as they improve their physical health or fitness – through awareness, setting goals, and support.

    “As a bank, we have challenged ourselves if we are doing enough to support customers in fulfilling their financial potential. We believe we can do much more, and are setting firm commitments and targets to provide the relevant knowledge, tools and assistance to our customers. Our ambition is to give access to over 200,000 consumers to our Bank of Ireland Financial Wellbeing programme in 2019, which we hope can make a positive impact nationally.”

    Key elements of the Bank of Ireland Financial Wellbeing Programme include:

    1. Financial Wellbeing Health Checks –tools for consumers and businesses to check their own Financial Wellbeing score and access a range of supports to help them begin their Financial Wellbeing Journey. Customers who check their own score will also be able to sign up for seminars and one-to-one financial adviser meetings. The Bank expects to support 100,000 consumers through these channels to end of 2019.
    2. A significant expansion of the Bank of Ireland Youth Financial Literacy Programme, offering the programme to every primary and secondary school student in Ireland. The programme will provide young people with access to financial education and practical tools to enable them to learn lifelong skills and make informed financial decisions.
    3. A Financial Wellbeing Lab which will become a centre of excellence for piloting and road testing new innovations, drawing from national and international best practice, to help our customers manage their finances, plan for the future, and thrive.

    The delivery of these activities will be supported by a dedicated Financial Wellbeing Team including a team of Financial Wellbeing coaches.

    For more information and to check your Financial Wellbeing visit:

    Notes to Editor:

    * To gauge the Financial Wellbeing of the people in Ireland, Bank of Ireland conducted nationally representative research among 2,770 people with Red C in 2018. This included customers and non-customers across a wide range of age demographics from all four provinces. Bank of Ireland will conduct this research on an annual basis as part of our 2019-23 Financial Wellbeing Programme to track and improve the Financial Wellbeing of our customers and contribute positively to the nation’s overall level of Financial Wellbeing.