Spanish mortgages are now available to the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) broker network from Banco Halifax Hispania, part of the HBOS group. As well as mortgages, Banco Halifax Hispania is also offering Irish consumers looking to live temporarily or permanently in Spain services such as current accounts, savings and insurance services.
A major benefit to Irish consumers and Irish brokers is the convenience of arranging mortgages from a Spanish bank that specifically targets English speaking customers. In addition, Banco Halifax Hispania has also compiled a list of qualified solicitors and surveyors in the popular Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Mallorca, Cataluna and Costa Calida regions. These solicitors and surveyors have local knowledge and experience of acting for Irish customers.
Referring customers for a Spanish mortgage is not dis-similar to the existing process used by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) although all applications will be underwritten in Madrid and be subject to Spanish law. Brokers who are part of the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) broker panel will need to fill in an application form adding them to the Banco Halifax Hispania panel. Banco Halifax has recruited a specially designated customer services team, based in St Stephens Green, Dublin will help brokers answer queries about the legal and financial process of buying property in Spain. The team will also offer help in completion of the mortgage application forms and provide information on the Bank‘s lending policy. Once completed, the paperwork will be forwarded to the underwriters in Madrid for formal approval. The ability to deal with a local Banco Halifax Hispania team in Dublin also means that international telephone calls and charges can be avoided.
The Bank has also appointed a senior Business Development Manager with specific responsibility for the Irish Intermediary market.
As in Ireland, the customer’s Spanish solicitor will ensure that all aspects of the purchase, including planning permission, obtaining a residency certificate and other legal requirements are satisfactory and will investigate the property as thoroughly as possible to protect customers’ interests.
The demand from Irish people for property in Spain has been fuelled by the boom in low-cost, budget airlines. Research from OAG has shown that the number of low-cost flights in Europe to and from Spain is up 25% on 2005, while low-cost operators within Spain have increased by 160%.
Bernard Kingston, Head of Homeloans, Bank of Scotland (Ireland) said:
“This venture will enable our brokers to serve the growing Irish expatriate market looking to buy a second home in Spain. With a clear understanding of the Spanish market, Banco Halifax are able to provide products that match the needs of Irish people buying property in Spain. It is estimated that over 50,000 Irish people have bought Spanish homes over the past ten years.”
Ian Smith, Head of European Operations, Banco Halifax Hispania said:
“This is excellent news for people looking to buy property Spain. We are confident that the expertise and experience of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) brokers can help alleviate the worry out of the Spanish house buying process by supporting customers at every stage in the purchase. The whole process therefore becomes no more complex than buying a outsourced payroll ireland