Who are the main Spanish Banks and are they still offering Spanish Mortgages
Due to the economic climate and integration and merger of various Spanish Banks those banks still lending in Spain are now limited in their numbers. Many brand names are starting to disappear as the new owner re-brands and closes Branch Networks and the banking system is in a constant state of flux.
In recent years Deutsche Bank has withdrawn offering mortgages in Spain to persons not earning their incomes in Euros. This has precluded UK citizens from applying to them. To ensure they have access to the Scandinavian and Swiss market they have developed a very complicated currency mortgage which allows clients of those countries to maintain a loan in their home currency. Where they do offer lending it is at 60% loan to value and whilst rates are competitive a rate protection policy which is compulsory adds significantly to overall cost.
Lloyds International ES
In May 2013 it was announced that Lloyds Bank was selling its small branch network and its current client book to the Sabadell Group. The implications of this meant that one of the last lenders who did not add life cover as compulsory and the very last lender offering any interest only periods for Spanish loans will in fact disappear by February 2014.
BBK has taken over Caja Sur and Kuxta and has been in the process of merging the new network. BBK has kept brand names like Caja Sur where regionally they deemed it sensible to do so.
For many years the bank had been focused almost entirely on their own properties where they would provide Spanish loans for up to 70%. From quarter 4 of 2015 the Bank has taken a far more aggressive approach to the total mortgage market for both residents and non residents. Launch of leading edge product in terms of rates and conditions has been part of this focus. for independent properties the loan to value is between 65% to 70% for exceptional cases. Product terms are linked to the total relationship with the applicant but unlike other Banks life cover is not compulsory it will just affect rate.
The Sabadell Group is the 4th largest Bank in Spain and has taken over a number of other Spanish Banks including CAM. They are one of only two banks who continue to offer up to 70% as standard. Sabadell, mainly through its Sol Bank network is actively continuing to offer non residents Spanish Mortgages and its buying of Lloyds in Spain confirmed their ongoing desire to supply the nonresident market. Sabadell in 2015 bought the TSB branches from Lloyds in the UK further proof of their desire to increase their presence and product base with non Spanish clients.
Product terms are competitive and they have a premier product for higher earners and can negotiate some of the best terms in the market for the right client profile. Life cover is compulsory for all applicants unless they live outside the EU.
Barclays Bank in Spain announced on the 8th of May 2014 that they will be moving the banking retail arm in Spain to non core business and sell or liquidate the division. Barclays has now been bought by Caixa Bank. Caxia Bank remain active in the non resident market and have opened a new international arm Hola Bank.
Bankinter offers nonresident mortgages in Spain up to 60% loan to value for UK applicants as standard and up to 70% for Northern European applicants and by exception for UK applicants. 70% for UK based applicants or those residing outside Europe will only be granted in the case where the purchase price and loan size is deemed significant and the earning levels of the applicant are high.
Sitting mid pack in terms of product and rates their standard terms are neither leading edge nor excessively uncompetitive in comparison to other Spanish Banks. Bankinter will negotiate on price for the right client profile. Bankinter does not have the same issues as many banks in terms of defaults due to more diligent lending undertaken during the boom. Bankinter continue to actively offer mortgages in Spain.
Probably the best known Spanish Bank after Santander, Bankia is an amalgamation of a number of Banks forced together by the Spanish Government. Bankia are not actively offering mortgages at the present time as they try desperately to reduce their overall exposure. Bankia may offer a mortgage if an applicant is buying one of the properties they own but this is the only circumstance under which Bankia is actively lending.
Unicaja still provides Spanish Mortgages but has no set products. All applications for a Spanish Mortgage are client specific and after full analysis including the paying for and obtaining of a valuation the client will be given terms, rates and loan to value.
Unicaja are more focused on the resident market and also have many inland branches re more effective than others when resident and considering a loan on Rustica land.
Santander Spanish largest Bank is not focused currently on its home market. Santander has withdrawn their UK based Spanish Mortgage department and access to any loans is only via their Spanish network. Loans are a maximum of 50% and at very high rates.
CajaMar like many of the other Banks in Spain in the current financial climate only wishes to mortgage property they own. Whilst the door remains slightly open to other applicants maximum loan to value is 50% at high rates.
EVO Bank and Abanca
EVO like Bankia are an amalgamation of a number troubled Banks. Previously owned by the government they are only effectively offering non residents mortgages where the client is buying one of their stock.
Abanca have a UK based branch in London and will offer UK residents a loan in Spain up to 70% of the purchase price. Rates are generally mid pack in terms of competitiveness but the starting rate is very attractive at 1.25% above Euribor. All rates are “from” so each rate is given on a client by client basis based on overall risk of the application.
A privately family owned Bank, Banca March quietly gets on with business. Mortgage rates and conditions are client specific based on the quality of the applicants fiscal situation. Banca March is the most solvent Bank in Spain and has the highest solvency rate in Europe. They have been voted best private bank in Spain for 5 years running.
As a privately owned savings Bank CajaMurcia remains active but only in the Costa Blanca. They prefer to mortgage only their own stock but will consider other applicants. Rates and terms are client specific but up to 70% can be considered for the right client.
Citibank and Banco Popular
Citibank have a small network in Spain but do not offer any Spanish mortgage facilities.
Banco Popular hard hit during the boom due to a high exposure to new developments have remained active during the last few years. Key issues remain that they often link to obscure index rather than Euribor have poor service levels and erratic risk assessment. TARGO Bank which is a small network 50% owned by Banco Popular have much better service levels, clearer criterias and an ability to look at more complex lending like plots of land and mortgages not in a personal name. TARGO will lend up to 70% without life cover required but will want the first years mortgage payments retained at completion to make the regular payments within the first 12 months.
Caixa Catalyuna is Spanish government owned and like EVO Bank is presently reducing their exposure to lending and will normally only lend to clients buying their stock.The sale of Caixa Catalyunas book and network has proved hard to achieve. Heavily exposed to development funding and with a balance sheet in disarray without government ongoing support other lenders have been loathe to look at the network.
BBVA is Spanish second largest Bank. They do offer Spanish mortgages to non residents but access and product is limited. Like Unicaja if applying in Spain terms will not be known until a valuation has been paid for and terms are client and application specific. The only time this is not the case is BBVA London who have a jointly Bank of Spain and FSA regulated product offered from their UK Branches. Access to this product is only available direct in London or via an FSA regulated mortgage broker in the UK. BBVA offer up to 60% loan to value.
Caixa bank are Spain’s 3rd largest Bank. Caixa Bank are actively looking for non resident mortgage applications but prefer the top end of the market. They offer up to 60% loan to value ( 70% for UK nationals) and up to 50% for loans in excess of € 1m. The Bank offers a competitive fixed rate for the first 5 years followed by relatively low margins above Euribor. Limited on age and total term of loan the La Caixa also adds life insurance policy as compulsory as a lump sum at completion.
Caixa bank have a very low headline fixed rate but this product is linked to products contracted some of which would be difficult for a non resident applicant to meet. As with many banks written into the mortgage deed is what will happen to the rate if either products linked are cancelled or not originally taken.
UCI are the lending arm of a joint venture between Santander and a French Bank. UCI is not a Bank and purely offers Spanish mortgage facilities for residents of Spain and non residents. Service levels and consistency of underwriting are the key issues for UCI.
UCI offer up to 70% for EU nationals and 50% loan to value for non EU nationals. Rates include a variable rate which is competitive and a range of fixed/mixed rates from 3 years to 10 years fixed followed by variable. UCI do not require life cover is contracted with them but do require that 5 years worth of buildings insurance is paid at completion.
NY KREDIT are a Danish Bank. They offer mortgages in Spain but only to passport holders of Denmark, Sweden or Norway. NY KREDIT cannot offer loans across all of Spain and have minimum loan level sizes but for Scandinavians who can access them they provide good interest rates and higher loan to values. They remain the only bank able to offer interest only.
BMN are an amalgamation of a number of smaller Cajas including Caja Murcia and Caja Granada. In the last half of 2015 this lender came back into the non resident mortgage market with a range of best buy products. BMN can offer up to 70% and have some very attractive fixed rates for both 20 and 25 year terms. Unlike a number of other lenders BMN when offering fixed rates currently leave repayment penalties at 0.50% for the first 5 years and 0.25% thereafter rather than increasing them significantly.