Sunday 22 July 2018

'Ludicrous' BoI advert is pulled after online anger

Orla in the Bank of Ireland ad
Orla in the Bank of Ireland ad

Sasha Brady

Bank of Ireland has pulled an advertisement in which it highlighted a young woman and her boyfriend who moved back to their parents' houses to save for a mortgage.

The bank came under fire for what was branded "questionable" financial advice.

It had tweeted a picture of the young woman in question along with a description of how she and her partner bought their first property.

"Orla and her boyfriend stopped renting and moved back with their parents to save the deposit for the 1st home," the tweet read.

It linked readers to a blog post on the company's website.

The blog post gave more details about how Orla and her boyfriend had moved back home so they could save up for a deposit.

A note at the bottom of the article confirmed that the couple eventually bought a property and moved into a house in Swords, Co Dublin.

Comment: Saying my parents could help me save is a bit rich coming from bank we all bailed out

The post and accompanying tweet were not well received online.

The bank subsequently pulled it.

Bank of Ireland's financial advice comes at a time when rental costs have hit a new high, for the fifth quarter in a row.

The capital has also been in the midst of a housing crisis.

According to a recent report from Daft.ie, rents have risen nationwide by almost 12pc in the year to June 2017, while the supply of accommodation is at an all-time low.

The average monthly rent is now €1,159. This is up to €122 a month since last year.

Furious Twitter users hit out at the bank for trivialising the rent crisis.

"Ludicrous to see banks promoting this as a strategy," RTÉ's Louise McSharry wrote.

Irish Independent journalist Colette Browne responded: "Tough luck millennials, the only way to get a mortgage with @bankofireland is to move back in with your parents."

Labour spokesperson on housing Jan O'Sullivan said the online mortgage advice for young people reflected the "grim reality" of the housing and rental market.

"Unfortunately the current state of the housing and rental market means that for many young people trying to buy a house, moving back in with their parents is their only option to save for a deposit," she said.

"Just this week, figures from Daft.ie put rents at a record high for the first six months of the year.

"It is simply becoming unaffordable for those that actually manage to secure a property to rent, to pay these extortionate prices while trying to save for a deposit at the same time," she added.

Irish Independent

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