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Bank economists go back to the classroom

30th March 2017

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland brings together bank economists from AIB, BOI, KBC and Ulster Bank with business and economics students in event to mark European Money Week 2017

Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today brought the chief economists from AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland and Ulster Bank together with over 160 leaving cert business and economic students to discuss the economic issues of the day. The event took place as part of European Money Week 2017, a financial education initiative taking place in over 20 countries across Europe.

AIB’s Senior Economist, John Fahey; Loretta O’Sullivan, Group Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland; Austin Hughes, Chief Economist, KBC Bank Ireland; and Simon Barry, Chief Economist, Ulster Bank, joined together to deliver a series of presentations to the students on a range of economic issues that are currently in the news including the housing market, Brexit, as well as Irish , EU and global economic performance. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion chaired by BPFI Chief Economist Ali Ugur, and a Q&A session with students and their teachers from a number of second level schools in Dublin and Wicklow.

The event is one of hundreds of activities taking place this week across Europe during European Money Week 2017. Established in 2015, European Money Week is a joint initiative between the European Banking Federation and over 20 European banking associations, including BPFI. European Money Week is an annual event which aims to raise public awareness on financial literacy and improve financial education for students at primary and secondary level.

Today’s event was one of a number of BPFI initiatives this week to mark European Money Week.

  • BPFI also hosted a Financial Education Stakeholder Forum on Wednesday 29th March. This forum brought together key stakeholders working in the financial education space to share their observations on existing activities in the field of financial education and to consider scope for further activity.
  • BPFI has also launched a series of new content on its online resource Developed by BPFI in conjunction with the Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland (BSTAI), the site provides a number of learning resources for teachers and students of leaving cert business, economics and accounting. Additional content includes a series of curriculum linked Case Studies ( developed with BPFI member banks AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland Ulster Bank. Providing students with relevant and up-to-date business material, the case studies are designed to bring real Irish business stories into the classroom for the benefit of both students and their teachers and to link the world of education directly with leading business organisations.

Other resources on the site which are updated on an ongoing basis throughout the year include sample exam questions and worked-out answers written and assessed by experienced teachers; an overview of and commentary on the most up-to-date figures on a range of Ireland’s key economic indicators written by BPFI’s chief economist; as well as useful links to business news stories relevant to both the business and economics curricula.

Speaking at today’s event, Ultan Henry, President BSTAI, said: “As teachers of business, economics and accounting, BSTAI members are always looking for new ways to bring to life the theory that we teach in the classroom. Today’s event has undoubtedly achieved this by providing the students involved with a wealth of insights to bring to life the concepts and principles they are learning in school.  It is the longstanding relationship between the BSTAI and BPFI that has enabled us to create events such as today as well as such valuable resources as  We in BSTAI very look forward to continuing this collaboration for the benefit of teachers and students alike.”

European Money Week 2017 is also supported by BPFI members through activities undertaken as part of their individual financial education programmes:

  • Bank of Ireland is running a series of Bizworld workshops in 12 primary schools throughout the country. To date it has run 237. For second level schools 10 BOI Learn to Earn workshops are running bringing the total number of programmes to 115 this academic year. At third level meanwhile, a workshop on how your financial personality can impact your life choices in Ireland and abroad is taking place in Dublin City University.
  • KBC Bank Ireland is releasing research on financial literacy and how people perceive their own financial literacy. KBC set out to begin benchmarking financial literacy at the end of 2016 and this new research will look at areas such as retirement planning, financial goals and household budgets.
  • As part of its MoneySense programme, Ulster Bank is delivering workshops throughout Ireland for both primary and secondary schools, including a record-breaking series of student workshops held last week at Carrigaline Community College where 12 of the bank’s MoneySense volunteers supported 220 students in learning about money and banking.


Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI – Tel: 01 474 8835 / 087 901 6880

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland is the voice of banking and payments in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

The Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland (BSTAI) is the professional association for all teachers of Business Studies subjects in second level education. With 16 branches through the country, the role of the association is the enhancement and development of business subjects in our schools. For more information, visit our website,

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