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Scary! That is doubtless the feeling for many people seeking to arrange a mortgage to buy a property overseas. If it is daunting applying for a mortgage for a property in the UK, surely it must be harder yet to arrange one for a dream home or investment abroad?

The simple answer is no, it does not have to be like this. Like most things in life, it all depends on who you deal with. For instance, if you are looking to purchase a property in Greece or Bulgaria, you may well be getting your mortgage through Piraeus Bank, based in the UK.
At present, mortgages for overseas properties are not covered by the FSA regulations that cover UK mortgages. What this means is that any provider of mortgages overseas is under no requirement through UK legislation as to the level of information it provides or the service levels its customers receive.
Piraeus Bank in the UK however ensures that it provides as much information to its customers as possible, and stick to rigid and quick response times, to ensure that the customer is able to make informed decisions and always knows what information is required of him or her to move the application forward.
The whole process starts on-line. The Piraeus Bank UK website ( clearly outlines the lending parameters for each country that it offers mortgages to, along with a guide to the particular country including tips and advice, foreign exchange, a concise guide as to the whole mortgage process and best of all, a very simple and clear tool for gaining an immediate initial credit approval for a mortgage.
Should the initial on-line decision prove positive, a full application should be submitted, along with the information as detailed within the application (standard proof of identification etc). This will allow the Overseas Mortgage Team to reply to the prospective customer within 48 hours of having received the Application.
Piraeus Bank UK realises that it is in its best interests to provide stress-free mortgages as simply as possible and therefore it even provides an email address where customers can contact the Overseas Mortgage Team direct with any concerns or questions and have them replied to within 24 hours. The Bank also makes sure that it liaises with the valuers, lawyers and vendors where possible to smooth out any issues.
So can miracles be performed? Sadly not. The full mortgage process will never be instant as there are too many parties involved – lawyers, valuers, banks and not least the purchaser and vendor, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made easier. As long as anyone looking for an overseas mortgage remembers that in the UK it usually takes between 1 and 3 months to obtain a mortgage to purchase a UK property, plans accordingly, and is prepared to provide all the required information and documentation that is asked of them to help the process, then there is at least one Bank that is determined to make buying overseas property as simple as buying next-door.
For more information please contact the Overseas Mortgage team at Piraeus Bank UK on 0845 603 6538 or visit