Sunday 24 September 2017

Joan Burton slams Bank of Ireland 'FOMO' loan offered to college students

The bank is trialling the short-term 'FOMO' product Photo: Bloomberg
The bank is trialling the short-term 'FOMO' product Photo: Bloomberg
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Joan Burton has criticised a decision by a Bank of Ireland branch to target students with a 'Fear of Missing Out' loan.

The bank is trialling the short-term 'FOMO' product at the Dublin City University (DCU) branch.

Students who are approved for the service reportedly receive €100 directly into their bank accounts instantly. 

Promotion of the new service includes an email which tell students that the funds would help them "not miss out on some of the biggest events on campus".

According to the paper, official complaints about the finance initiative were received by the college itself.

Labour spokesperson on Finance and Education, Joan Burton, called on the Governor of the Central Bank to investigate the 'FOMO' loan

"These FOMO loans by Bank of Ireland are completely irresponsible," she said on Monday.

"The messaging behind these loans send the wrong message to students who may never have taken out a loan before and don't understand the weight of these consequences."

Ms Burton said that banks such as BOI "should know better and they shouldn't be taking advantage of the exuberance of youth".

"The FOMO loans and the messaging attached to them are reminiscent of pay day loans. These kinds of loans are a dangerous route," she said.

Bank of Ireland told independent.ie that the bank is running a new mobile tech trial with customers in DCU.

"There are no fees or charges for using the service and no late repayment charges, and the trial will not affect a customer’s credit rating," a spokesperson for the bank said.

"Customers register for the trial in the DCU branch, and activate the service using our mobile technology platform designed for the trial.

"Customers can only avail of one loan at a time, it is repayable within 6 weeks from drawdown and text reminders are sent when the due date is approaching. "

The trial group consists of 250 students. There are currently no plans to extend the trial beyond April, or to other campus locations. 

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