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July 29, 2009    

Bank of China offers UK mortgages

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by David Masters

British landlords and homeowners will soon be able to mortgage their properties with the Bank of China.

Mortgages from the Chinese bank are offered via four brokers, starting at 2.5% above the base rate.

Bank of China previously focussed on lending to Chinese communities in the UK, but is now widening its scope.

Borrowers will have to attend a face-to-face meeting with the bank to secure the mortgage.

The move could prompt more foreign banks to start lending on the British market as UK-based mortgage lenders continue to keep tight controls over lending.

‘While I do not believe it will re-shape the whole mortgage market in the UK, if it works here, it is a bank with sufficient scale and could potentially deliver big volumes”, said Mark Harris, managing director at Savills Private Finance, one of the four brokers offering the Bank of China mortgages.

Smartlandlord.co.uk said the Bank of China’s decision “demonstrates confidence in the UK housing market”.

“Contrary to media reports, the private rented sector is buoyant”, the buy-to-let specialist added.

Current UK mortgage lending is around half the level it was 12 months ago.

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