‘Very few’ Irish people knowledgeable about financial matters – Bank of Ireland

Ireland’s financial literacy score stands at 54pc, well behind the UK on 67pc, Germany at 66pc and Australia’s on 64pc. Image: Depositphotos

Caoimhe Gordon

Few Irish people feel knowledgeable about financial matters, with just 28pc confident in this area, according to new findings from Bank of Ireland.

The nationwide Financial Literacy Score Index, which was commissioned by the bank and conducted by Red C, revealed that Ireland has an average financial literacy score of 54pc.

Just over half of the test questions were answered correctly by the survey’s 1,000 participants.

Women scored almost 10pc lower than men, Bank of Ireland reported.

Overall, those aged 18-34 have the lowest financial literacy in Ireland, scoring 48pc. Over 65s scored 58pc in the same survey.

Over a quarter of those who participated in the survey got less than 10 questions correct, while only 19pc were able to identify all ways to avoid interest on credit cards.

Just one third claim to understand mortgages, while 20pc said they were familiar with how investments and pensions work.

Respondents were focused on their own finances, the report found.

Around 58pc are now reviewing their own finances personally each month.

However, knowledge of savings ranked the lowest in the survey, with just 37pc of questions answered correctly.

Ireland now lags international peers when the data is compared to the findings of the 2015 Global S&P Financial Literacy survey, the most recent comparable international survey.

At the time, Australia scored 64pc, while Germany had a financial literacy score of 66pc. UK stood at 67pc.

"Our schools are ideally placed to provide a head start in developing good financial habits for life, which is why Bank of Ireland has developed a comprehensive range of supports for teachers and parents,” Bank of Ireland’s head of financial wellbeing Dawn Bailey said.

“However, while we can play a strong role in helping improve financial literacy, to really move the dial requires a whole of society response. Bank of Ireland is engaging with other stakeholders to promote collaboration on this important issue."