Lending to small and medium sized businesses is extremely strong with a 92% approval rate in Kilkenny last year.
In 2013 Allied Irish Banks issued 35 million in loans, which were sanctioned and drawn down by customers in the city and county.
Chief Executive of AIB, David Duffy was in the city to address the Kilkenny Chamber Spring Luncheon which took place in the Rivercourt Hotel last Thursday.
Mr Duffy said he was very aware of he plight of ‘distressed homeowners’ and outlined how the bank has several options available to their customers.
“The most important thing is to get people who are in difficulty to engage with the bank. There are a wide range of options including where customers can volunteer their homes to the bank or the bank can offer a split mortgage.
“A split mortgage may involve a period of no interest upfront or part of the mortgage may be written off to bring the remainder down to manageable levels,” he said.
He also pointed out that 80% of customers are still meeting their mortgage repayments but added that he was ‘aware of the despair of some customers’.
“We look at each situation and try our best to negotiate and find a solution,” he said adding that the bank was not interested in taking legal action against it’s customers if at all possible.
“It is about restructuring and getting people back to a healthy financial situation where they can put money back into the economy. It is about getting people to functioning efficiently,” he said.
He also said that Kilkenny has a strong agricultural market and that many of the bank’s agri customers are ‘gearing up for 2015 and when the quotas come in’ adding that 32% of the bank’s business profitability is from the agri sector.