Should I consider an offshore mortgage?

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Many people believe the only reason you would need to use an offshore mortgage is for tax purposes, however, this is not always the case. If you’re a UK resident but a non-UK domicile and are looking to buy a property, a UK client working overseas wanting to refinance or buy in the UK, or a high net worth client simply seeking more privacy, then an offshore mortgage is something to consider.

Most people assume offshore trusts are solely for tax efficiency, yet a large number of clients choose this option for privacy and protection purposes, if the client is in the spotlight for example. This comes with the added benefits of reducing inheritance tax and income tax liability (if it’s an investment property), as well as capital gains tax.

Offshore banks do not have the same credit scoring procedure as those in the UK, meaning UK lenders struggle to give the same due diligence and credit scoring for an offshore client. UK lenders also require a UK credit footprint, making them unable to prove the conduct of finances unless the client has a link to the UK, such as a UK bank account. Essentially, getting a UK mortgage without it will be very difficult, which is where an offshore bank comes in.

Many people believe accessing an offshore bank is for those trying to hide money for tax purposes but in truth this isn’t the case. They are much more accessible than you’d think and often you will have heard of the lender without realising they even had an international arm. These are usually treated separately, so even if you’ve heard of the high street format, it’s unlikely you would know about or have considered it as an option.

To access these lenders and gain the best structure, you will need to talk to a mortgage broker. We work very closely with tax specialists to ensure the tax and legal structure is correct, and will work with the client to create the best solution – rather than structuring each element in isolation, which normally works out more expensive and complicated, with solicitors not accepting a foreign client buying via a trust, for example.

We will ensure the right structure is in place from the very beginning for every aspect of your mortgage.