LGBTQ+ community concerns about finances

LGBTQ+ respondents to a Bank Ireland study showed less confidence and resilience in managing their finances.

Less than half of LGBTQ+ people say they feel confident about their financial situation in the next 12 months.

In a survey, commissioned by Bank of Ireland and conducted by Red C, questions relating to financial resilience were put to a nationally representative sample of the general public aged 18+ with 12% of those who responded identifying as being from the LGBTQ+ community and the remainder identifying as heterosexual.

“LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately face financial challenges, which significantly impacts their overall wellbeing”

44% of LGBTQ+ respondents said they “feel confident about financial situation in next 12 months” – this was 48% for heterosexual respondents. 

59% of the LGBTQ+ community said they were “confident that they would have the funds to cover an unexpected day-to-day expense such as a car breakdown or the repair or replacement of a household item” – this was 62% for heterosexual respondents.

When asked about their ability to raise funds to cover an unexpected bill, both groups were confident that they could raise ‘any funds’ (95%). However, while 29% of heterosexual respondents said they could raise more than €3,000 in a month this figure fell to 25% for LGBTQ+ respondents.

Opening up on personal finances

Bank of Ireland will host a series of Financial Wellbeing workshops with Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre in September.  In advance of the workshops, Outhouse will provide training to the Financial Wellbeing team that will cover the LGBTQ+ essentials; a comprehensive understanding of the community, the issues the community faces, and the impact of advancing awareness.

“It is clear that financial confidence around certain topics is low in LGBTQ+ groups, an issue which needs to be addressed”

“Different demographics face different challenges when it comes to their financial wellbeing,” explained Aine McCleary, chief customer officer, Bank of Ireland.

“As part of our financial wellbeing strategy we have looked at the specific challenges younger people, women, or more vulnerable members of society may face. We recently conducted research to better understand the financial resilience and supports needed by the LGBTQ+ community. While our research shows some positive signs, it is clear that financial confidence around certain topics is low in LGBTQ+ groups, an issue which needs to be addressed. Some specific factors, including a slightly elevated reliance on credit cards to cover unexpected expenses are also noteworthy.

When it came to other sources of funds, the responses between the groups were more varied. A loan from family and friends was the second largest source of funds after savings, at 39% for LGBTQ+ respondents compared with 29% for heterosexual respondents. LGBTQ+ respondents were also more likely to source the funds from a credit card (23% vs 17%), a loan from a bank (22% vs 17%) or from selling things they own (25% vs 20%).

In addition to the financial wellbeing insights, the survey also showed a clear gap in age ranges of those identifying as LGBTQ+ or heterosexual. This indicates that young people are more open to disclosing sexual identity, with 27% of those who identified as LGBTQ+ in the 25-34 age range, 32% in the 35-44 age range, and just 16% aged 55+.

While household incomes and social segments are similar for both groups, LGBTQ+ respondents were more likely to live in private rental accommodation compared to heterosexual people – 25% versus 16%.  In terms of relationship status, a far greater number of LGBTQ+ respondents were single compared to  heterosexual respondents – 46% versus 28%.

While the age profile of the LGBTQ+ respondents will have influenced these results, it is noteworthy that the combination of a single income household with the cost of private rental accommodation could result in a lower disposable income and a greater challenge reaching a mortgage deposit.  

“LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately face financial challenges, which significantly impacts their overall wellbeing,” explained Oisín O’Reilly, CEO, Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre.

“Research from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights found that two out of five Irish LGBTQ+ people struggle to make ends meet, with this figure rising to half of Trans and Intersex people. Additionally, one-third of LGBTQ+ people experience housing difficulties, exacerbating financial instability and health inequalities.

“Bank of Ireland’s research highlights that LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to rent their home, adding further pressure on personal finances. This overrepresentation in the high cost rental market, combined with lower disposable incomes, creates significant barriers to financial stability and overall well-being for LGBTQ+ people in Ireland.

“Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre is delighted to collaborate on reciprocal training with Bank of Ireland, ensuring that their staff understand these unique challenges and are best placed to help LGBTQ+ people with timely and relevant support and advice. Rolling out the Banks financial wellbeing initiative in our community is vital for providing our patrons with the financial knowledge and support needed to navigate their financial lives effectively and improve their overall wellbeing.”

McCleary added: “Ensuring our products and services are inclusive and accessible to all our customers is central to building the financial wellbeing of the population.  To do this, we need to understand the specific needs of all our customers.  We are delighted to partner with Outhouse for this reciprocal training, where our financial wellbeing team will first be trained by the Outhouse team, and then host a series of workshops on financial wellbeing”. 

Main image at top: Pictured along with Oisín O’Reilly, CEO, Outhouse Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre are Oliver Wall, Group Chief of Staff, Bank of Ireland, Aine McCleary, Chief Customer Officer, Bank of Ireland and Ailish Byrne, Co-Chair of Bank of Ireland’s With Pride Colleague Network

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