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Switzerland Bridging Finance

You can use Swiss bridging loans to purchase Swiss property without a mortgage or to raise the capital you need to buy a home in Switzerland before you have sold another property. Bridging finance can also be used to release significant equity from a property you own in Switzerland. 

Lenders secure Swiss bridging finance against real estate in Switzerland. Bridging loans are a type of short-term finance that can last from a few weeks up to three years. 

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Enness' Offer – Swiss Bridge Loans

  • Offers for bridging loans in Switzerland in less than 24 hours
  • Use any residential or commercial property as security
  • No minimum or maximum loan amount
  • Release equity from Swiss property
  • Rates from 0.75% to 1.1% per annum
  • No minimum term
  • Specialists in brokering high-value and cross-border deals 

Using Swiss Bridging Loans

You can use a Swiss bridging loan instead of a mortgage or other types of conventional property finance. In either of these cases, you would typically use bridging finance if a mortgage is not beneficial your circumstances, or in order to secure finance to buy property at short notice. Many borrowers use Swiss bridging loans to close property transactions in Switzerland quickly because you can draw down loan capital in as little as two weeks. 

Bridging loans can also be used if you want to purchase Swiss property before your current home has sold, which is one of the more traditional uses of this bridging finance. In this scenario, you would repay the bridging loan using the proceeds from the property you are planning to sell. 

You can also use bridging loans to release equity from a property you own in Switzerland. Swiss bridging loans can generally be used to access significant liquidity fast, due to the high value of Swiss real estate. In this situation, the loan would be secured against unencumbered real estate in Switzerland which you can then use to buy more property, invest, grow a business, or consolidate debt.

How Do Swiss Bridging Loans Work?

The basic principles of Swiss bridging loans are very similar to the way domestic bridging loans work in the UK: a lender will offer you a short-term (often high-value) loan secured against property in Switzerland.

As with any kind of international finance, it's important to remember that local laws and regulations can be different than in your home country or place of residence. It's important to understand what these differences are and how they will affect you to ensure that bridging finance is the right option for you. Considerations include how Swiss property transactions take place, taxation, ownership, liabilities and responsibilities, and the local legal system. Your broker will walk you through all of these factors and, if needed, connect you with specialist advisers if you not already have a team in place. Enness will always be working on your side to deliver the best bridging loan for your circumstances and will liaise with all parties involved in the transaction to ensure the plan remains on track and your desired outcome is delivered on time.

Bridging loans in Switzerland are secured against either commercial or residential real estate, although using residential property is more common. It is always used as for short-term lending, from a minimum of a few weeks up to three years. 

Swiss bridging finance can be used to:

  • Complete property transactions quickly in Switzerland
  • As an alternative financing method to a mortgage or other types of property finance
  • To finance a property purchase if you stand to lose a deposit
  • To create liquidity, allowing you to purchase a home in Switzerland before another property has sold
  • To release equity against a residence you own in Switzerland 

When should I use a Swiss bridging loan?

A bridging loan may not always be the best option for you – it is best used in certain scenarios or to achieve specific outcomes, such as those listed above. Enness will always explain all of your options and any alternative financing methods, so you can decide if bridging finance is the right choice for you.

Bridging loans can be used in various ways, for example if you want to quickly buy a new property in Switzerland or need to raise liquidity to purchase a property in Switzerland before you have sold other real estate. Bridging loans can also be used to release equity from a property in Switzerland. Regardless of the why you are considering bridging finance, one of the most important elements of this type of loan is your exit strategy – in other words, how you will repay the loan. A clear strategy detailing how you will manage the funds that you can share with lenders is also vital. 

A bridging loan nearly always works out to be more expensive than a long-term mortgage or traditional property finance given it is a more flexible financial product that can be utilised broadly, including to release equity that will allow you to invest, consolidate existing debt or to inject into a business to grow it. However, Swiss bridging loans are always competitively priced based on your intended use for the loan, the amount you wish to borrow, and how quickly you need the money. How ambitious your plans are can also affect what you will pay, but it is worth noting that there are lenders that will consider aggressive plans and exit strategies.

How Much Can I Borrow Using a Swiss Bridge Loan?

How much you can borrow will depend on a number of factors. The most important factors which influence what a lender will let you borrow are the value of your Swiss property, how you plan to use the finance and your exit plan. Some lenders offer a maximum LTV of around 60 or 65% for a Swiss bridging loan. Other lenders will have a lower limit as standard or will offer a lower LTV if you have particularly ambitious plans or an aggressive exit. Your financial background, net worth and income can also affect how much you can borrow.

Not every lender offers international bridging loans, and not every lender can offer loans against Swiss property. However, those that do can offer large loans against high-value real estate in Switzerland, including large bridging loans against a single asset. Loans of a million francs and above are a distinct possibility in Switzerland which also reflects the quality of the real estate and its value in the country. 

Swiss lenders offering bridging finance can usually provide loans structured via entities and various ownership structures. You will also not need to reside in Switzerland on a full-time basis to be eligible for this type of finance, and your nationality or country of residence will not usually prevent you from accessing bridging finance as long as you meet compliance and AML requirements. No matter your nationality, country of residence or plans, Enness will approach Swiss bridging lenders and negotiate with them on your behalf to secure the highest possible LTV and most competitive terms for you.  

Swiss Bridging Lenders

Bridging finance far more prevalent in the UK than abroad, and bridging remains a relatively niche area of expertise in Switzerland. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in demand for lenders to provide Swiss bridging loans. This has been driven, in part, by UK nationals residing in Switzerland who want to use bridging finance. Switzerland has a significant number of foreign nationals that reside in the country, and many of these individuals also want to use bridging finance, given they know the benefits and the flexibility it offers, particularly surrounding equity release.

Only specialist lenders offer bridging finance within Switzerland, and these lenders have a great deal of expertise working with sophisticated borrowers, high-net-worth individuals, non-resident property owners and foreign nationals. Many of these lenders can offer bridging loans in deals that include international structures. 

Swiss bridging loans will almost always need to be personalised as opposed to packaged products – especially in large deals, as is usual in Switzerland. Enness will approach the lenders that can offer you the most competitive bridging loan. Your broker will also approach lenders that can structure the loan using any entities you or your advisers want to include in the deal. Naturally, your broker will also be able to negotiate LTV, terms and loan size. Your broker will always work to maximise the amount you can borrow and negotiate the most affordable rates. Enness will also work with all the parties involved in the loan to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal and that the transaction is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Advantages of Swiss Bridging Loans

Swiss bridging finance can be used to buy Swiss property quickly. Alternatively, you may be seeking an alternative financing arrangement to a Swiss or international mortgage or want to release significant equity from property you already own in Switzerland – whether or not you reside full time in Switzerland. You can use Swiss bridging finance to achieve these plans.

Other advantages of Swiss bridging finance include:

Speed

Many borrowers enquire about securing a Swiss bridging loan due to the speed at which you can draw down loan capital. Bridging lenders, including those that offer loans in Switzerland, move quickly, and you will be able to draw down funds very fast – sometimes in as little as two weeks. Because lenders work at pace, you may find it is a much faster way to finance a Swiss property purchase than via a mortgage which generally takes longer to arrange. A Swiss bridging loan can also be useful if you face losing a deposit on a property you are planning to buy in Switzerland.

No Requirement For Assets Under Management

Many international and domestic private banks require assets under management (AUM) as a part of a Swiss mortgage offer. You will often need to place a significant amount of assets under management to secure the mortgage, which may not be beneficial to you. Swiss bridging loan lenders will not require that you place AUM, which may be advantageous to you.

Flexibility

Bridging finance is a versatile financial tool, which can be used to realise various ambitions and solve problems. Where mortgages can solely be used to purchase property, for example, bridging loans can be used in a range of ways, including: 

  • Buying Swiss real estate 
  • Purchasing international property using a loan secured on Swiss real estate 
  • Raising liquidity quickly
  • Consolidating debt in Switzerland or abroad
  • Invest in securities, stocks, shares, bonds or a business
  • Buying other assets

Regardless of your intended plans, you will need to approach lenders with a defined strategy which includes details of how you intend to use the funds and how you will manage them. If you wish to release equity from a property or use the loan to finance cross-border projects (i.e., you will use loan capital outside of Switzerland), you will find these plans are especially important to lenders. 

Large Swiss Bridging Loans

Bridging lenders tend to specialise in one area of the market and focus on either large or small loans. How much you want to borrow will influence which lenders your broker will approach. There is no limit on how large or small a bridging loan Enness can broker. It is also worth noting that some lenders will provide significant bridging loans secured against Swiss property – loans of CHF 1-10 million are possible if your property and your financial background support this – larger loans are also an option.​​

Disadvantages of Swiss Bridging Loans

Price

Any international bridging loan will be more costly than a domestic UK bridging loan. International bridging loans of any kind usually require more technical skills to execute successfully than lenders that operate exclusively in the UK. This is because in Swiss bridging deals, loans tend to be larger, the borrowers more sophisticated and structures or entities tend to be part of the deal. Lenders also consider international bridging loans as a riskier financing mechanism (compared to conventional finance options, such as mortgages, which also influences price.

Swiss bridging loans are almost always more expensive than longer-term finance options like a mortgage. However, this doesn’t mean these loans are prohibitively expensive or overpriced. Another factor to consider is that bridging finance is only ever used when you want to achieve a specific outcome, therefore the benefit of being able to access capital quickly to achieve your goal will often outweigh the cost of the loan. In many scenarios, a bridging loan may be one of the only ways to access finance quickly, leading to many borrowers being happy to pay a slightly higher fee.

You can use Swiss bridging loans to release significant equity from Swiss real estate, buy additional property in Switzerland or abroad, consolidate debt and create liquidity to solve problems quickly. Your broker will carefully talk you through all the costs, benefits and potential drawbacks of bridging loans, to ensure you understand what is involved in the deal. They will also let you know if there are other financing options you should explore and what the tangible benefits of bridging finance are. 

Fees

On top of the cost of the loan itself, bridging finance will also incur other fees, such as legal costs, lender fees, valuations and arrangement fees. In some cases, you may also need to consult tax advisers and other experts, depending on your financial background and the complexity of the deal. Enness thoroughly explain the fees you will incur if you take out a Swiss bridging loan upfront, to ensure you understand exactly what you will need to pay and what the whole finance package will cost to deliver. 

Risk

Bridging finance is a type of secured loan, meaning if you can't keep up with repayments you could stand to lose your property. It is vital to have a plan outlining how you will manage and exit the loan to ensure it is a success.

Swiss Bridging Loans For Equity Release

Swiss bridging loans can be used to release equity from unencumbered Swiss real estate. Your lender will secure the bridging loan against your property in Switzerland. 

Equity release against Swiss property is a very niche lending area. Firstly, because not every lender is able to operate in Switzerland and secondly because Swiss real estate tends to be high-value, and therefore loans are usually large. However, many of the lenders that will offer Swiss bridging loans also offer equity release, in which case they will be open to lending in situations where you will invest in securities or private stock, purchase assets, acquire real estate in Switzerland or abroad, consolidate debt or solve short-term cash-flow issues. With equity release, you are not obliged to deploy the loan capital in Switzerland – you can utilise the funds abroad, which is one of the benefits of Swiss bridging loans.

It is important to have a well-thought-out plan for managing funds and exiting the loan when it comes to equity release. Most importantly, your lender must be confident in your ability to manage the capital you borrow and pay back the loan successfully at term.

Paying Back A Bridging Loan

Bridging finance a short-term finance option, meaning repayment is different from longer-term products such as a mortgage. With long-term and conventional lending, you will pay back the capital (and often the interest) over time, but this is not the case with bridging loans, where the loan will effectively be due as a lump sum. This means you will need a significant amount of capital to settle your liability, so lenders will want to understand precisely how you plan to do this. 

There are plenty of options for paying back a bridging loan – this process is also called your exit. These include:

Refinancing

Refinancing is one of the most common methods of repaying a Swiss bridging loan. In this situation, you refinance with another lender, and you will usually switch to a longer-term finance package. Refinancing to a mortgage is common, but you can also do so via other types of financing products. Your new lender will pay off your bridging loan. If necessary, Enness can arrange a refinance package at the same time as brokering your bridging loan, which will help you present your exit to lenders. 

Sell property 

Bridging loans can also be paid off by using the proceeds from the sale of the property the loan is secured against or other property in your portfolio. Usually, lenders are open to this property being located in Switzerland or abroad. 

Use other assets/capital

Swiss bridging loans can be repaid using capital from other sources, such as the sale of other assets or other property in your portfolio, or a liquidity event. A liquidity event can be anything from an inheritance, capital generated via the sale of a business, sale of securities, luxury assets and other circumstances resulting in guaranteed income. If you intend to use this strategy, details of how and when you will receive the capital which will be used to pay off the bridging loan are imperative – expect lenders to examine these elements in detail.  

Currencies

Lenders offering Swiss bridging loans are usually international players that tend not to be based in Switzerland and they have an international outlook and approach to lending. This is beneficial, as most lenders will consider loans that are secured against Swiss property but where loan capital will be deployed outside of Switzerland. This opens the door to you being able to use bridging finance to buy property abroad, invest internationally (in securities or a business), consolidate international debt or create liquidity for a project outside of Switzerland. Naturally, borrowing in Swiss francs is very straightforward, if it is in your best interest to do so, however, many lenders offer the chance the borrow using international currencies such as pounds sterling, euros or US dollars, which can be useful if you plan to use the loan outside of Switzerland.

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Get In Touch

Enness is a leading broker of Swiss bridging finance. Get in touch to discuss your needs, and the team will talk you through your possibilities and give you more information about bridging finance tailored to your individual situation.

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Bridging Finance Guide

Bridging finance comes in many shapes and forms. You can take advantage of bridging finance if: 

  • You have complex or low income 
  • A significant portion of your wealth is tied up in assets like property 
  • You know banks and mainstream lenders won’t want to lend for the project you want to explore 
  • You have an ambitious project and aggressive plans 
  • The opportunity you wish to pursue requires significant borrowing 

The relatively short-term nature of bridging finance can be challenging, requiring experience, contacts and negotiating skills to secure the best possible terms with as much flexibility as possible. Extremely competitive interest rates, staged funding release to save on interest and utilising assets and income as security are vital elements of bridging finance deals. 

We excel in these areas as well as pre-arranging cheaper traditional refinancing of bridging loans at the end of the term.