Strict lending criteria hits high end mortgage market

Many of these people are successful entrepreneurs, but they are being refused credit because their finances and wealth are not straightforward, and often other banks and building societies are bound by rigid lending criteria which do not accommodate this.

Investec, which specialises in servicing the financial needs of the 'entrepreneurial class', sees this development in the market as a huge opportunity to dramatically grow its lending business. Investec's mortgage business is aimed at the top end of the market, with loans available exclusively to individuals with sustainable earnings in excess of £300,000 a year who are looking to borrow a minimum of £1 million. A typical client would be in the market for property starting at £1.5 million.

Nicky Walden, Investec Specialist Private Bank said: "In the residential high end mortgage market, there is too much focus on the property as opposed to the individual, and this needs to be rebalanced. However, in order to do this you need to be able to understand the intricacies of a potential client's finances and their true wealth."