British building society to allow foreign currency deposits on expat mortgages

Published:  19 Nov at 6 PM
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A British building society is now accepting deposits on expat mortgages made in foreign currencies.

The Ipswich Building Society’s latest move may well be of interest to UK expats living and working overseas whose savings are held in the foreign currency of their present locations. Previously, only the pound sterling was acceptable, closing off the use of expatriates’ savings to purchase a UK property, especially if their present countries of residence have inconvenient currency regulations.

British nationals living and working overseas can now pay the deposit on a UK real estate mortgage in foreign currency held in a current accounting in their present country of residence. According to Richard Norrington, the building society’s CEO, juggling multiple currencies has always been a headache for expats working and saving overseas. Changing the rules, he added, removes one complication for Britons needing or wanting to buy property in the UK.

The rule change is a follow-up from the lender’s recent product refresh in which terms for residential applications were changed to include expats who’re paid in one of a basket of 10 selected currencies. Norrington told the media UK property investment isn’t just simply desirable for British expats, but is also necessary in order to provide a base for expats’ families. He sees the change as a common sense approach for expat property loans, as keeping track of multi-currency finance overseas is far more complex than for UK-resident applicants.

For expats keen to invest in English or Welsh real estate for whatever reason, the new product will be the answer as it’s acceptable for both property purchase and remortgage loans for buy-to-lets as well as residential purchases. Applicants will need to provide evidence of the source of the fund, the which needs to have been held in a single or joint account in the borrower/borrowers’ names.
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