Almost 60% of Irish consistently save money, research reveals

Woman in a restaurant paying for her meal using neobank, bunq card.

Irish users prioritize savings amidst the European Central bank predicting interest rates to fall by year-end, according to the new research by bunq, the second largest neobank in Europe.

The study revealed that the Irish are active savers, with almost 60% saving money consistently and nearly 70% maintaining a spending budget. This savings trend is coming against the backdrop of declining interest rates. The European Central Bank has predicted rates to fall to around 4% by the end of 2024, after a period of initial hikes to combat inflation.

An average user has two personal bank accounts. Additionally, Irish consumers value trust and transparency in their banking experiences. This highlights a gap: half of banking users in Ireland aren’t fully aware of the fees they’re paying.

Over half of Irish consumers (51%) trust that their bank has their best interests, yet concerns linger amongst 23%. Almost 12% are not aware of the fees they incur, and only 38% are somewhat aware, pointing to a need for greater transparency and user-centric practices around interest rates and banking approaches.

At the same time, over 40% of Irish users are willing to fully migrate to digital banking in future. While over half are unfamiliar with the term “neobank,” bunq experienced a tenfold increase in Irish user sign-ups in 2023. Poised to continue to grow within the Irish market, bunq saw deposits grow by 194% since its last interest rate increase in December 2023, a market high rate of 2.46% AER.

Bianca Zwart, Chief of Staff to the CEO at bunq, comments, “Amidst high cost of living, Irish users are making savings a top priority. We’ve seen an overwhelming inflow of Irish users loving our high interest rates and automated budgeting tools. We’re here to effortlessly let them grow their savings, with fair rates, weekly payouts, and the best possible banking experience.”

Commenting on the research Mark Coan, Founder of moneysherpa.ie, says, “These research findings point to what many feel intuitively about Irish banking, it’s an area ripe for change. We have already seen mass adoption of digital banks in Ireland with many of us already using them for day-to-day banking in parallel with traditional banks. What this report indicates though is that over 2 in 5 of us would consider ditching the traditional banks entirely for transparent fees, enhanced security, and better ease of use. If that was to happen it would be a seismic shift in Irish banking.”