By Ian Randall For Mailonline
Published: 00:00 BST, 5 May 2021 | Updated: 00:08 BST, 5 May 2021
Bank credit officers are more likely to approve loan requests early and late in the working day — and reject those processed around noon, a study found.
UK psychologists studied the decisions made on 26,501 loan restructuring requests by a major bank's team of 30 credit officers over the course of one month.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
They found the officers appeared to develop 'decision fatigue' around the middle of the day, making them more likely to default to the safer option of saying no.
Processing loan-related requests involves weighing up the customer's financial strengths against their risk factors — and is therefore cognitively demanding.
Making the wrong decision can be costly, as although restructuring often results in a loss compared to the original payment plan, defaulting can be worse for the bank.
According to the team, the findings highlight how having regular breaks amid long periods of intense work can make employees more productive overall.
Bank credit officers are more likely to approve loan requests early and late in the working day — and reject those processed around 12pm, a study found (stock image)
Decision fatigue is the mental exhaustion caused by having to make difficult decisions repeatedly over the course of long period of time.
Past research showed that this fatigue leads people to fall back on whatever the 'default' choice is — the option that either seems easier or safer.
'Credit officers were more willing to make the difficult decision of granting a customer more lenient loan repayment terms in the morning,' said paper author and psychologist Simone Schnall of the University of Cambridge.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'But by midday they showed decision fatigue and were less likely to agree to a loan restructuring request.'