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Online Banking – Who is winning in the Irish Market

Over the last few years there have been huge advancements in online banking in Ireland and there will definitely be more to come as banks adapt to the changing needs of Irish consumers.
It is interesting to study the Irish market and see that some banks have clearly adopted online banking more than others with some players’ miles ahead of others.

AIB has introduced several new features to its online banking such as its personal finance platform my money manager, emortgage portal and online personal loan facility.

The AIB my money manager is a very useful personal finance tool that allows users to create budgets and track spending in your AIB accounts against the budgets you have set while also categorising your spending into entertainment, rent, food etc.

AIB also has introduced an emortgage portal that allows users to get sanctioned in principle online for their mortgage before meeting with an adviser.

Another feature AIB has introduced is an online personal loan facility that allows AIB account holders to get online approval and drawdown of personal loans in less than 3 hours for amounts between €1,000 – €30,000. Once approved the money is transferred immediately into your account without any need to visit a branch or talk to an adviser.

Permanent TSB has also introduced an online personal loan facility that allows account holders to get online approval and drawdown within minutes of amounts ranging from €1,500 – €15,000 once you are a Permanent TSB current account holder and you have your salary paid into that account. Once approved for the personal loan you can transfer into your account at any time over the next 90 days.

Permanent TSB have introduced a cashback explore current account where you can get cashback for using this account – however this is capped at a maximum of €5 a month which isn’t much considering monthly bank charges are €4.

Ulster Bank have introduced a quick quote online system that allows consumers to get a quote for a personal loan online for amounts from €2,500 to €40,000 in minutes however to draw down the loan the customer will have to meet with an adviser.

KBC also have a facility to start a loan application for personal loan amounts greater than €5,000 however to draw down you will also have to talk to an adviser.

As you can see from the above some banks are adapting to online banking more than others though the Irish market is definitely lagging the more advanced US, UK and Australian markets.

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3 Reasons for buying Life Assurance

Life Assurance is a topic that no one wants to talk about but is something that almost everyone has to pay for at some time in your life. Below are 3 of the main reasons for buying life assurance and the types of life assurance you will need.

3 Reasons for buying Life Assurance

  1. Buying your own home – Mortgage Protection.
  2. Starting a family – Life Assurance.
  3. Becoming self-employed – Income Protection.

 

Buying your own home – Mortgage Protection

When you buy your own home most people will go to the bank for a mortgage in order to afford the home – one of the banks conditions of getting a mortgage will be that you have taken out an adequate mortgage protection policy.

Mortgage protection is a life assurance policy that will pay off the mortgage outstanding on your home if you die before you have paid off the mortgage. So if you die with €100k left on your mortgage – the policy will pay the €100k directly to the bank.

When getting a mortgage the bank will try to sell you mortgage protection however there is nothing stopping you from buying mortgage protection from a different provider – often this is the cheaper and better option as banks in Ireland don’t compare the market for you only offer products from a single provider such as Irish Life. Independent financial advisors are able to compare market for you for cheaper more flexible policies than offered by your bank.

Starting a family– Life Assurance

Having your first child is often the main reason why people start considering taking out life assurance policies – so that their family is looked after if anything should happen to the parents.

Life assurance provides a lump sum for your dependents if you die which can be used for many reasons such to provide an income for when you’re gone or to pay for college fees etc.

The cost of life assurance will depend on the type of policy you choose, the amount you choose and the term of the policy. Other factors that will affect the cost will be your age, health & personal circumstances.

 

Becoming self-employed – Income Protection

Becoming self-employed is a big step and you need to consider what will happen if you are unable to work.  In Ireland the self-employed are not entitled to anything if they cannot work due to health reasons unlike PAYE workers who are entitled to social welfare disability benefits.

Income protection will pay you up to 75% of your income if you can’t work due to illness or disability. It will start paying out once you have been out of work for a certain amount of time – the amount of time will depend on the policy you take out.

Tax relief is also available on the cost of income protection policies at the highest rate of tax you pay so this will lower the cost.

Mortgage Rate Changes

The good news for first time buyers is that several providers have dropped their fixed rate mortgages for first time buyers with the market leading rate being offered by Permanent TSB at 3.29%.

However several of the lenders are now only offering the lower rates if first time buyers are able to come up with a bigger deposit.

The market leading rate is only being offered to first time buyers who can come up with a deposit of at least 20% of the house value. While the next best rate being offered is by KBC at 3.3% with first time buyers only required to come up with a deposit of 10%.

Compare mortgage rates on the Irish market at www.moneybags.ie/mortgages/