VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s not just speculators and real estate agents on the hot-seat when it comes to Metro Vancouver’s turbulent real estate market.
There are suggestions some the country’s biggest banks have different rules for foreign clients looking for a mortgage, requiring much less scrutiny than used for domestic customers.
An investigation by the Globe and Mail uncovered internal documents from Scotiabank and the Bank of Montreal, showing they have much more lenient standards for approval of foreign clients, in some cases requiring no verification of income with a minimum down payment.
The newspaper reports BMO guidelines also require that clients, including “foreign students with a valid study permit,” to have the equivalent of one year’s mortgage payments on hand when the loan is issued.
Losing my mind about how stupidly short sighted this bank policy is, and how all levels of gov’t and watch dogs have failed us. #VanRE
— David Eby (@Dave_Eby) September 14, 2016
There are claims speculators have used the more lenient rules to flip houses in Vancouver for big profits.
Concerns are also being raised by critics like BC NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who believes the banks are also opening the door to easy money laundering for foreign clients.