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Skipton International’s growth driven by expats

Skipton International’s growth driven by expats

Channel Islands-based Skipton International’s expat buy-to-let mortgages look set to eclipse local lending during 2015, following their July launch.

Since last summer the ex-pat deals - offered on English and Welsh properties - have seen the fastest new business growth rate in the bank’s history, proving popular with those looking to invest back home.

Due to “commercial sensitivities” the firm said growth figures cannot yet be published.

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A spokesperson for Skipton International said: “Since the launch of our expat mortgage proposition in August 2014, the number of applications received and their value has already surpassed both our Jersey and Guernsey new business pipelines.”

The lender added that demand looks set to continue into 2015, with its managing director Jim Coupe stating that applications from Middle Eastern and Asian-based expats have been particularly significant.

“For 2015 we remain fully committed to the Channel Islands, and our local customers, while also expanding our overseas business reach through expat mortgages and more international savings accounts,” he commented.

Nigel Pascoe, director of lending, told FTAdviser that the building society’s subsidiary was set up in Guernsey in 1995, moving into mortgages with the acquisition of the Guernsey branch of Standard Chartered in 2002.

“The market locally is only so big and we didn’t want to compete with our parent, so we researched the British expat community that they wouldn’t lend to and decided to go down the non-regulated route.”

He explained that the bank cannot support expats buying UK property with the intention to eventually reside in it, as that brings it under UK mortgage regulation, instead these are purely investments made by those with a British passport.

“We source a lot of business through UK mortgage brokers with overseas clients and there’s a lot of interest in investing in properties in and around London and the South East, although many people want to buy in wherever their hometown is.”

The bank has a minimum investment of £100,000 and maximum of £1.5m, with mortgage deals coming fee free until 13 February.

peter.walker@ft.com