Bank of Ireland becomes founding signatory of UN banking initiative on financial health and inclusion

  • BOI signs UN Principles for Responsible Banking ‘Commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion’
  • BOI is one of 28 banks globally to have joined the leadership group by signing the Commitment
  • Targets are to be set and first reports to be published within 18 months from signing, with annual reporting requirement thereafter

3 December 2021 – Bank of Ireland has become a founding signatory to a new United Nations-supported banking initiative to promote universal financial health and inclusion.

Bank of Ireland, which is already a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), is one of the first 28 banks to follow that with a commitment to support financial health and inclusion through its products, services and other measures.

The 28 banks which have signed the UN Principles for Responsible Banking ‘Commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion’ will define measurements of success and share current best practices and successful approaches to financial health and inclusion to see how they might be further improved and adopted more widely across the sector. Banks will report on their targets within 18 months and then annually thereafter.

The UN Principles for Responsible Banking were designed to help align the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In a progress report on the Principles published in October, financial inclusion was identified as one of the top three sustainability challenges – after climate mitigation and adaptation – where banks can have the most impact.

Dawn Bailey, Head of Financial Wellbeing at Bank of Ireland, said: “Financial health and inclusion have been absolutely central to Bank of Ireland’s Financial Wellbeing programme through initiatives like our ‘F -Word’ campaign to break the taboo around talking about personal finances, our financial literacy programme for schools and the specialist unit we created to support vulnerable customers. That’s why we are proud to be part of a group that is determined to show leadership on issues that are as important to us as they are for our customers. We look forward to sharing our knowledge, to learning from others, and to helping shape an effective, best-practice approach to financial health and inclusion.”

Bank of Ireland’s Financial Wellbeing programme includes a range of financial health and inclusion initiatives:

  • A dedicated Financial Wellbeing website hub with helpful content to improve your understanding and management of money, including a free financial health check tool.
  • An award-winning Financial Wellbeing Index that tracks the nation’s financial health.
  • A dedicated Vulnerable Customer Unit that provides banking support to customers facing vulnerable circumstances or situations including age-related or cognitive impairment, financial abuse, illness or addiction.
  • A Carers’ Card which provides a safe and secure way for trusted relatives and friends or other designated carers to manage the day-to-day living expenses of those in their care.
  • A free financial literacy programme for primary and secondary school pupils.
  • An easier process to enable International Protection applicants to access everyday banking services through accepting alternative State-issued documentation as proof of identity and address when opening current accounts.