Russia-based expat requires loan to purchase £1.3million central London property


I was contacted recently by an expat British investment manager, currently residing and working in Russia, who wanted to move back to London within the next 6 months.  He required a 70% loan to value (LTV) mortgage for his new £1.3million property. However, he also needed to release equity on a buy-to-let property he owned to ensure the full value of the deposit was met.

Although my client had significant interests within the UK, with a string of buy-to-let properties, I knew this case would pose certain issues. Namely that lenders are often wary of lending to clients who currently reside in Russia due to the volatile and often frosty diplomatic relations the UK and Russia have traditionally shared.

Further, my client’s proof of address would not be acceptable to many lenders because his Russian accommodation was paid for by his company and thus could not provide the usual utility bills required as proof of his residence.

I knew it would be too difficult attempting to source the full amount my client required from a sole lender because of his residential status. To combat this problem, I approached two lenders, a private bank and specialist buy-to-let lending building society, both of whom I had built excellent relationships with in the past.

Private banks and specialist lenders are really useful in these situations as they look at mortgage requests on a case by case basis as opposed to mainstream lenders who generally rely on a more ‘one size fits all’ policy.

A simple letter from my client’s employer acted as proof of address for both lenders and I was able to proceed in negotiating the best deal for my client with both trusted lenders.


In the end, the private bank offered my client a 2-year fixed mortgage at a rate of 2.19%, achieving the 70% LTV my client had originally requested. The building society was able to offer a £250,000 mortgage on one of his buy-to-let properties (valued at £400,000) at a 4.09% variable rate.

My special relationships with both these lenders made this deal possible, and would certainly not have been available with a mainstream lender. My client was absolutely delighted with the result and looks forward to moving back to London.


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