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Nottingham BS to allow no minimum residency for foreign nationals

  • 01/05/2024
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Nottingham BS to allow no minimum residency for foreign nationals
Nottingham Building Society will now accept mortgage applications from foreign nationals without a minimum requirement of time spent in the UK.

Nottingham Building Society said this would address the feedback from mortgage brokers that suggested current options for foreign national buyers are too restrictive. 

To enable this, Nottingham Building Society has partnered with cross-border credit bureau Nova Credit to give mortgage brokers access to historical credit files internationally. 

The Credit Passport service sources information from countries such as India, Philippines, Australia, US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Kenya and Korea. 

The mutual said a lack of credit history was a common barrier for skilled workers from abroad looking to buy a home in the UK, especially those who have been here less than a year. 

The product also allows no minimum time remaining on a visa and no minimum income is required. Applicants will not need a UK credit history, and the mortgage is available up to 90% loan to value (LTV). This is capped at 75% LTV if a credit source cannot be found. 

The product will primarily be available to borrowers entering the UK on a Skilled Worker or Health and Social Care Worker visa. 


Empowering borrowers from overseas 

Alison Pallett, sales director at Nottingham Building Society, said: “This is a fantastic solution, one we know brokers have been crying out for. We hope it will empower more borrowers from overseas to realise their homebuying dream in the UK, particularly those new to the UK who struggle to demonstrate their credit history.

“It’s an exciting step forward in our transformation journey as we continually look for innovative ways to support borrowers who currently find it difficult to obtain a mortgage.” 

Praven Subbramoney, chief lending officer at Nottingham Building Society, added: “It’s a proud moment for us to be able to introduce this exciting new product; one that will transform the homeownership prospects for the growing number of foreign nationals coming to live and work in the UK. 

“Many thousands of people come to the UK to work and, indeed, we rely on skilled foreign workers in critical areas like healthcare and technology. But, up until now, many have been unable to obtain a mortgage within the first two years of being in the country because of restrictive and inflexible lending criteria. We want to change that.” 

Subbramoney said: “As a foreign national, trying to get a mortgage proved far more complicated and frustrating than it should have been. It’s as if only 75% of me was allowed into the country – the UK was able to match my aspirations to earn a good living and play my part in supporting the economy, but I was unable to comfortably settle with my family.

“The need to better support under-served segments of the market is central to our purpose as a forward-looking building society. And we are delighted to be able to now meet the evolving demands of people moving into the country, not just as a place to earn money but to settle long term, put down family roots and make the UK their home. That’s the role we believe a modern mutual should fulfil.” 


Rise in demand from foreign nationals 

Nottingham Building Society said this aligned with an increase in demand from overseas borrowers, with criteria searches on platforms accounting for a quarter of queries in Q4 2023. 

This was the first time searches among this borrower type took up this much of the market, as the figure stood at a sixth of queries just two years ago. 

Misha Esipov, CEO and co-founder at Nova Credit, said: “When people move countries, we believe they should be able to bring their credit history with them. We are delighted to partner with Nottingham Building Society to enable UK newcomers who have the means and credit track record to put their best financial foot forward to access mortgage financing.

“With our Credit Passport solution, Nottingham Building Society can take advantage of a compelling new expansion and tap into a valuable, under-served market that has been hiding in plain sight.” 

Danny Belton, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), concluded: “There are a growing number of foreign nationals looking to come to the UK, bringing critical skills and years of experience to the workplace. However, obtaining a property to live in has been a significant challenge for many.

“It’s great to see that Nottingham Building Society has taken a pragmatic approach to the problem by providing a leading solution that can help these customers.” 

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