AIB experiment proving there are no answers (at least no easy answers)

Something that was disclosed to me in an interview with Brendan O’Connor, AIB’s Head of Financial Solutions Group (they side of the company that deals with fixing debt problems and arrears) was that they have tried different things to see if it could fix arrears. I’ll outline a recent experiment they did.

This one involved sending letters out to 1,400 borrowers who were both in arrears greater than 6 months and who were not engaging with the bank. This was effectively a ‘best guess’ experiment where the bank would have had some level of insight into the borrowers accounts.

The bank sent out 1,400 letters to the borrowers offering split mortgages or longer term forbearance solutions.

Only 700 replied, so about 50% responded, 50% didn’t write back or acknowledge the letter or answer follow up calls.

Of the 700 respondents it turned out that less than 20 needed long term solutions to make their mortgage manageable. This is less than 1.5% of the original sample group and about 3% of the respondents.

What does this prove? It proves that even when armed with what we are told are ‘good solutions’ that perhaps they won’t work anyway.

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