Steve Haggerty, Homeloan Management
There will be an upturn on cross-border lending ‘ in fact it is already happening with more lenders entering the market. But there are still big barriers in terms of legal systems, product structure and tax regimes to overcome. At the moment, UK interest rates are lower than those in Europe, so there would not be an adverse effect on UK lending if it does takes off.
Mike McDonald, Bank of Scotland
There are legislative barriers which affect cross-border trading so we are unlikely to see it in the immediate future. However, this could change with the introduction of the euro early next year. If cross-border trading is introduced it would affect the UK market and it opens up not only mortgages, but other financial products as well.
Martin Allton, Clydesdale and Yorkshire
Looking at how Scotland and England currently work, English solicitors cannot work in Scotland due to the different legal systems, which could be similar for Europe. It would give an opportunity for banks to explore areas outside their usual markets but I am not sure how legalities would work. Banks also will not have the expertise of lending overseas.
John Heron, Paragon
I think it is inevitable with the integration of a common European currency that you will see the development of cross-border financial services, right across the board. The difference for the UK is that it is outside that market, so the degree it will impact on us is not immediately clear. There is a danger that we will get left behind in the game.