News: Swell in offshore mortgage lending

Barclays International has seen its offshore mortgage book grow by 25% during 2005, due to increasing numbers of people from overseas coming to the UK to live and work.

Offshore mortgages are a little understood and complex area, but can provide savings of as much as 40% UK tax for those people who are eligible to use their offshore income to buy a home in the UK, therefore also representing an interesting growth market for advisers to consider.

The Sterling offshore mortgage is available as a variety of different products including a market leading tracker rate as low as 0.65% above the Barclays base rate.

Clients with an income in US Dollars, Euros, Japanese YEN, Swiss Francs and Hong Kong Dollars can also apply for the offshore mortgage in their relevant currency.

Pieter Van Rooyen, head of banking at Barclays International, said: "As the number of people of other nationalities working in the UK increases, offshore mortgages are becoming increasingly popular."

"However, the UK mortgage market has seen a significant shift in regulatory requirements and there are now additional responsibilities on lenders to ensure product, process, advice and documentation are 100% compliant. This means that advising a client to domicile a mortgage offshore requires even more thought and care and has led some providers to withdraw from this business."

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