A plan designed by the Central Bank to help overstretched borrowers with multiple loans has been thrown into temporary disarray by the unexpected withdrawal of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (Mabs) from the scheme, according to the Irish Times.
Following a competition between three bidders, Mabs, in conjunction with IT services company OSG, was to take a key role in a three-month pilot programme to try out the proposed scheme.
However, having won the competition and having responded in writing to the Central Bank two weeks ago in positive terms, the agency wrote to the Central Bank again last week, saying it would not be taking the role.
It is understood the Central Bank does not know the reason for the volte-face and is very surprised. A spokesman would not comment yesterday and calls to a spokesman for Mabs were not returned.
It is understood the Central Bank will now approach the two failed bidders for the role offered to Mabs.
If they are interested, it is envisaged the pilot will go ahead, perhaps as soon as next month. It will be focused on households but the scheme, if deemed successful, could be extended to include businesses and owners of buy-to-let properties.
Mabs had been selected to act as an experienced, independent representative for debtors in their dealings with multiple lenders.
Source: Colm Keena/The Irish Times