Are Spanish Banks lending


Despite some of the difficulties being experienced in Spain and the data constantly hitting the press lending is still possible in Spain.
For some Banks the focus is now very much on the nonresident market which is a complete reverse to the situation a few years ago.
Whilst once seen as the more risky and less profitable business, those Banks that have taken the time to analyze their books have worked out that in general the nonresident mortgage book is outperforming the resident mortgage book both in terms of delinquencies and profitability.

The hard economic climate in Spain and the high level of unemployment has meant Banks, where they wish to lend, have had to look at other markets.

No Banks are aggressively lending, and all Spanish Banks are actively shrinking their mortgage books but where lending is being offered, non resident buying in Spain are now more likely to be welcomed with open arms than a Spanish National.

Barclays Spain and La Caixa are actively building up their nonresident teams and expertise; both remain competitive in this difficult market. Sabadell Group has maintained its 70% product, all be it at very high rates, and Bankinter remain focused on all nationalities across the board.

Some Banks have withdrawn from lending to non residents but these in general are those that either recklessly lent in the heydays and have been stung badly by fraudulent or high debt to income applications from the past, or those that do not have the capital base to lend at all. For some like DB it is neither and the removal of lending to UK nationals is a knee jerk reaction by its German Parents to the outcomes relating to decisions made years ago not the current situation.

Margins have increased considerably from the low points of 2004 and 2005 and all Banks bar Barclays will insist possibly unnecessary products are contracted with them as a pre-requisite of lending but up to 60% loan to value is still readily available for applicants who can show affordability.

A Spanish Mortgage, given set up costs and rates, is not always the right answer for everybody but for those who want borrowing for the longer term, those who cannot buy in this competitive price market without borrowing, those who want to hedge against the risk of Spain coming out of the Euro and devaluing, and those who believe exchange rates will move toward a stronger pound over the next few years, the facility to borrow does still exist.

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