Bank reveals ‘Extra Help Hub’ for finances

Bank of Ireland Extra Help Hub to provide a range of additional supports for customers, families and carers.

The Bank of Ireland Extra Help Hub features resources and practical information around areas including financial abuse, dementia or incapacity, and advice on power of attorney/the Assisted Decision Making Act (ADMA), and related arrangements regarding a person’s finances. 

The information available on the hub on Bank of Ireland’s website will include links to forms and official documents, instructions on how to resolve a number of common issues and ways to access supports from specially trained colleagues in the Bank.

“Providing the supports and education that our customers need to protect their financial wellbeing at all stages of their lives is central to everything we do at Bank of Ireland”

On an ongoing basis, the Bank’s Vulnerable Customer Unit supports families, carers and support workers, and those supporting international applicants, domestic violence shelters, the Irish Probation Service and TUSLA. 

The Bank has partnered with advocacy groups including Dementia Ireland, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and the HSE National Safeguarding Office to aggregate the most important information that their service users need to manage their financial affairs.

Knowledge is empowering

“Providing the supports and education that our customers need to protect their financial wellbeing at all stages of their lives is central to everything we do at Bank of Ireland,” explained Aine McCleary, chief customer officer at Bank of Ireland.

“This is especially important when they face a serious challenge or vulnerability and need extra support from their bank. 

“Our Vulnerable Customer Unit offers support in many different circumstances, from the day to day issues that our customers, their families or carers encounter, to the very urgent – like fast-tracking protections on a customer’s account where financial abuse is suspected.

“Loss of, or limited capacity can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons.  A change in the family dynamic is particularly challenging at this sensitive time. These conversations are not always easy to have but are essential, to ensure that the practical necessities like banking can be handled seamlessly by a family member or trusted carer, when a customer may not be in a position to do so themselves.

“The Extra Help Hub has taken the learnings and experience of 30,000 engagements with vulnerable customers over the past four years and translated it into valuable and relevant online advice and guidance to assist our customers, their families or their carers when they need us most.”

The Extra Help Hub is part of  Bank of Ireland’s Financial Wellbeing Programme.  

The Hub includes six chapters and 19 content sections, each of which follows a standard principle of:

  • What the customer, their family or carer needs to do in advance and how to contact us
  • What we will do to complete the customer’s request
  • What the outcome will be and how we will tell the customer

Meeting life’s challenges

Dr David Coleman, Clinical Psychologist and contributor to the Extra Help Hub offers advice on how to deal with the challenging transitions and practical steps to take.”

“Family life is rarely straightforward. There are always changes and challenges along the way. Things like accidents, infirmity, dementia, and sudden strokes can significantly impact both the person and their family as many adjustments may need to occur. Death, too, sends shockwaves through a family and the loss can be profound.

“Any of these situations may affect our family finances with significant extra costs incurred, or may impact the persons capacity to manage their own finances, in the short term, or even longer term bringing new responsibility for those finances to their loved ones or carers.

“Having clear information, and a reliable source of advice and guidance can be invaluable, both to ensure things are done correctly and in line with the regulations and the law, but also as a reassurance and a source of support to take some of the pressure off families who may dealing with their own traumas or distresses associated with the circumstances that led to the financial affairs being changed in the first place,” Coleman said.

Main image at top: Ross Moore, head of Vulnerable Customer Unit at Bank of Ireland; Aine McCleary, chief customer officer, Bank of Ireland; and Dr David Coleman, clinical psychologist

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.