The GKB Assen is a social bank active in the north of the Netherlands and a long-time member of the ECDN. Social banks are a uniquely Dutch fenomenon; they are “regular” banks but without the profit-goal of commercial banks and always serve the public interest. Every year social banks in the Netherlands provide overindebted households with thousands of socalled restructuring credits in order to help debtors resolve their debts. In this interview Jan Tingen, director of the GKB Assen, expects the number of households with problematic debts to rise sharply because of the Covid-19 crisis and makes it very clear that restructuring credits can be a quick and effective way out of overindebtedness: “98% of households that receive a restructuring credit find their way out of debt”. 

Restructuring credits work like this: the social bank pays a percentage of the total debt back to all of a household’s creditors. The creditors then write off the remainder of the debt. The social bank subsequently remains a debtor’s last and only creditor. The debtor has to repay the credit but under favourable conditions and for a lower interest rate. Read the interview with Jan Tingen Here (in Dutch).