It’s no secret that the majority of mainstream lenders feel uncomfortable with the prospect of lending against a property owned in an offshore SPV. However, whilst at first glance funding requests of this nature may seem complex, it is a scenario that we here at Enness are very familiar with and have handled time and time again. This particular case concerned a 5-bed detached house in the prime London residential area of St John’s Wood which was held in an offshore SPV. After much research and advice, the client was effectively looking to bring the SPV onshore as a more efficient way to keep costs down, as the offshore company was no longer beneficial from a tax perspective.
The client in this particular scenario was a high net worth individual based in the UK who has previously been the CEO and owner of a reputable double glazing firm. He had invested his wealth into properties across the UK, India and the US. The client was introduced to me from a fiduciary in the Isle of Man as he ran an offshore SPV and trust for his property portfolio in the UK. As previously mentioned, the client now wished to appoint UK directors in the SPV to bring the company onshore as a more effective method of keeping costs down from a tax perspective. We had spoken to the firm about our services so they knew we would be able to assist. They currently have their existing loan with Investec who were not willing to renew because of the offshore element, and as the loan was due to expire, the client needed to source a new lender.
The headline client scenario was as follows:-
Client: HNW individual living in the UK with UK properties in offshore SPV
Income: Complicated income streams from multiple sources
Property Value: £12.75 million
Property Ownership: Held within offshore SPV alongside other London properties
Existing Loan: £5 million
Property Location: St John’s Wood, London
Property Type: 5-bed detached house in a prime location
LTV Required: 39.21%
Mortgage Type: BTL (buy-to-let)
Despite the client’s status as a high net worth individual, there were a few areas of contention within this case that would make it difficult to work with more mainstream lenders. Firstly, the property is owned in an offshore SPV which the majority of lenders generally will not work with as a rule of thumb. Secondly, the client has very complicated income streams that would be overly arduous for a mainstream lender to understand and process. Finally, the rent on the property in question did not meet the regular mortgage stress testing, and so it was deemed unaffordable. Additionally, the loan required was for £5m which is generally considered too high.
As highlighted above, there were multiple elements to this scenario which meant the majority of mainstream lenders would not consider the case. It soon became clear the only course of action to get the best outcome for the client was to approach a private bank that would take a holistic approach to the client’s situation.
To summarise, the key issues in need of address were:
Offshore SPV: Many lenders uncomfortable with properties held within offshore structures
Income Streams: Complicated, global, sporadic and difficult for many mainstream lenders to process
Rental Income: Rent on the respective property did not meet regular mortgage stress testing – deemed unaffordable
Loan Amount: £5 million – generally considered too high
Whilst on paper this case seems complex and a favourable result may appear unattainable, once the client’s situation was viewed holistically and we took a bespoke approach on his behalf, the obstacles quickly began to clear.
Enness is an independent mortgage brokerage and therefore we are able to speak to more than 300 UK and international lenders. The client’s situation and requirements, in this case, dictated that we needed to look outside of mainstream lending realms to satisfy his needs.
The client was clearly a very wealthy high net worth individual, and so we needed to approach a private bank that would take the aggregated view of the case needed to meet the client’s needs. The lender in question has vast experience of working with individuals who have multiple and complicated income streams and we were able to present this in a way that made the bank comfortable; it was via the presentation of these income streams that we were also able to get navigate the shortfall in rent issue. The bank also did not mind that this was held in an offshore SPV – again, working regularly with clients of considerable wealth meant the lender was comfortable and understood the uses of offshore SPVs.
Funding Partner: Leading UK private bank
Property Value: £12.75 million
Mortgage Funding: £5 million
LTV Ratio: 39.2%
Mortgage Duration: 5 years
Mortgage Type: Interest only
Mortgage Rate: 2.75% above the Bank of England base rate (3.5% all-in)
We secured the client a competitive variable product with no ERCs (Early Repayment Charges) so the client had the flexibility to sell the property in the future should he wish to.
Due to our dealings, the client now has a relationship with a private bank who is more suited to their general property needs, unlike their previous lender Investec who were unable to accommodate his requirements due to the nature of the offshore elements of the client’s case.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to the client in this case study we would welcome the opportunity to chat with you. A no-obligation discussion regarding your specific scenario would allow us to offer suggestions, advice, and solutions going forward. As we have access to more than 300 worldwide lenders we are able to secure extremely competitive quotes for clients. This allows us to put together a number of options using real-time rates which allow you to compare and contrast not only short-term cash flow but also short, medium and long-term liabilities. Sculpturing a funding arrangement around your specific scenario can be challenging but ultimately extremely rewarding.