It’s not easy to think of the years that lie ahead, especially when there is so much to consider at this moment. From bills to daily routines, the outflow of funds seems to be a never-ending journey. This makes it very difficult to plan for the future, however, time waits for no person. Retirement and death are two things that people need to consider, which makes Financial Planning a critical part of a financial portfolio. The Bank of Ireland Financial Planning product range offers customers a variety of options. This review takes a close look to compare it to some of the best in the world.
Read here to learn more about Bank of Ireland's International Payment options.
About Bank of Ireland
As a bank that was established in 1783, it’s no small wonder that the Bank of Ireland plays an integral part in the inner workings of the Irish economy. Bank of Ireland was there in the heart of the World Wars, assisting Ireland and parts of Europe come to terms with the after effects of these events. The Bank helped fund infrastructure and trade & industry in an effort to boost the economy.
It also focused on expansion and right up to the turn of the new millennium, took part in expansion projects, as well as mergers and acquisitions. During this period, the bank embraced new technology and offered a range of new products to their customers. The new millennium wasn’t without hassles as the financial crisis of 2008 left its mark on Bank of Ireland as well. The bank required a government investment of € 3.5 billion to strengthen their liquidity.
Currently, the bank is rated as one of the biggest banks in Europe. It provides millions of customers with critical banking services and happens to be one of the favorites from a service point of view. Also, with an impressive range of products, the bank is able to meet a variety of needs.
We recently did a full review on Bank of Ireland. Read more about that here.
What to Look for In a Financial Advisor
Financial advisors form part of a financial portfolio as much as the bank itself would. A banker in a normal bank environment would take care of the financials needs of a customer on a short-term basis, whereas the financial advisor sees to the longer term options. It’s important for customers to deal with financial advisors who are qualified for their positions.
Proper Credentials and Training
This is a person who will do the necessary calculations to ensure that customers are able to meet their future financial goals. This makes it imperative that the advisor has the necessary training to perform this task. Those who are still new or need further training should at least be affiliated with a financial institution with a good reputation for proper advice and record keeping.
Advice Driven to Meet the Customer’s Needs
This is a tricky one to consider, as many financial advisors across the world rely on commission for some if not all of their income. This can cloud their judgment and cause them to give advice based on their own personal obligations. It’s important to take this into consideration when discussing the various options available, as salesy advisors are easy to spot.
A Wide Variety of Options
Apart from issues that may arise with health and occupation matters, customers should have a wide variety of options available to them to meet their needs. If there is only a single product to cover a host of different needs, this should ring warning bells. This could mean that customers are pressured into accepting the advisor’s proposal, and not necessarily the product best suited to them.
Read here to learn more about the investments options at the Bank of Ireland.
Bank of Ireland Financial Planning Product Offerings
Bank of Ireland ropes in the help of New Ireland Assurance Company plc trading as Bank of Ireland Life to provide customers with great offers on their pension planning. There are a number of different options available to customers as there are a few factors that determine the needs. One of the biggest considerations is age. The savings needs of those born in the 80s will differ to those born in the 50s. With this in mind, Bank of Ireland makes a retirement calculator available to customers that will give them an idea of what to expect.
There is also a tab that allows customers to answer a few basic question before choosing whether they receive the information via email, through a face-to-face consultation, or via phone. This allows customers to make an informed decision, irrespective of their level of understanding of the various financial planning products. Customers also have access to the online pension schemes portal.
This division takes care of the overall health of personal finances.
Help with Finances
When it comes to debt, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and without recourse when things get bent out of shape. With the help of a financial advisor, making sense of all the commitments will become a little easier as the advisor pinpoints pockets of relief.
Face to Face Meeting with the Advisor
This is a meeting that is as important as an annual health checkup. With the help of a financial advisor, customers are in the position to make key financial decisions. This includes aspects such as:
- Children’s Education
- Income Protection
- Death and Illness Cover
Financial Health Check
This is an online tool that allows customers to answer a few short questions. It takes about 3 minutes to complete, and customers will have a key understanding of their areas of weakness. This is important to look at, and customers should be keenly aware that each segment of the check needs to be answered truthfully for their own benefit. This will allow them to plan for their future properly.
What We Like About Bank of Ireland Financial Planning
Customers will have a meeting with a financial advisor who is linked to a major bank. This gives them the peace of mind that the bank needs to operate within the regulations, and that there are standard operating procedures in place. The importance of this is that customers know that the record of advice is checked by someone else if the advisor is still new or in training.
The bank also provides options for different types of clients who are in their various life stages. This includes self-employed and employed individuals, as their plans will look a little different. There are also a number of resources available on the website that provide customers with some easy reading. This helps them gear up for their meeting with the financial advisor.
As far as the other planning options are concerned, customers enjoy sufficient planning and access to those who are experts in the industry. In this division, there are a number of products to meet more than just the ordinary needs. This extends beyond merely life cover and pensions.
Furthermore, customers who form part of the pensions scheme have access to the scheme online. This will give them detailed information about their plan, as well as the growth and other aspects that affect their plans. Customers use the tool with caution, as market conditions could result in fluctuations. These types of investments are over a long period of time. Customers should make their decisions after receiving proper advice from an advisor.
Finally, customers work through their needs with the financial advisor. Whether for retirement, at death or illness, and as provision for their estates in the event that they wish to leave a legacy.
What We Don’t Like About Bank of Ireland Financial Planning
Although there is a lot going on the website, there is very little information on the actual products. Customers have access to amazing tools and self-check option. However, what the different pensions or other plan options are will have to wait.
Customers receive an email, phone call, or have to go for a meeting with the advisor. This could result in customers jumping to other institutions where the information is more easily available.
Also, this part of Bank of Ireland’s website is the most difficult to navigate, which once again forces customers to seek their information in the branch.
Critical Reviews Rating Bank of Ireland Financial Planning – 8 of 10
This is one of the best institutions to approach for financial planning advice. There are resources available on the bank’s website that indicate important things. These are the performance of the funds for pensions. Also, claims history in the event of life or illness cover. This is important to consider. It differentiates the good long-term products from those that can do better.
It is disheartening not to give the bank full marks for this division. However, the lack of actual product information makes it tough to determine how this division compares with others. Also, customers will need to do a lot of work to navigate the different screens. This could force them to look at products offered by competitors. By streamlining the website and making the product information more accessible, this rating will improve.
For information about the insurance options available at Bank of Ireland, read here.