All of the talk at the moment is that the housing market is cooling down, particularly in London, which is almost certainly welcome news to those expats who are looking for a UK base while they work overseas.

Following the MMR in April, stricter, more thorough regulation has been enforced, and it is harder for lenders to assess expats’ borrowing capabilities – to the extent that a lot of lenders now steer clear of the market niche completely.

As part of the mortgage process, lenders carry out automated credit checks and identity checks of the electoral roll. This automatically rules out success for many expats, who would typically lack a UK-based address, a UK credit card that is in use, or a landline.

Guy Stephenson, who is a spokesperson for Offshoreonline.org, said:

“To understand a client’s financial circumstances in detail means a lender will have to carry out a comprehensive interview, possibly lasting up to two hours. The only way to do this is over the phone which is not that convenient for many expats.”

As a professional who has undertaken the relevant CeMAP training and gained the relevant qualification, you have a duty of care to ensure that your customers receive the best advice. Whether or not you can help them progress will be dependent on your employer, and the client’s employment status within the expat community.

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