Kate Beioley and James Pickford in London Bitcoin investors trying to channel their new fortunes into UK property are being turned away by mortgage lenders and brokers who fear breaching anti money-laundering regulations. The price of bitcoin, a virtual currency, has fallen back in recent days but has still risen nearly 1,500 per cent in the past 12 months on the Coinbase exchange.
Some younger investors have tried to take advantage of the sudden windfall to get on to the housing ladder, but have found that even after converting their profits to sterling, lenders were not satisfied that they could trace the source of the money. One public sector worker built up a deposit of £40,000 after investing in bitcoin, said Mark Stallard, a broker and principal at House and Holiday Home Mortgages.
But he said he had been unable to arrange a loan because it was hard to prove where the funds had arrived from and to link them to his client. “The first mortgage lender I rang asked me what a cryptocurrency was,” Mr Stallard said.
“I rang two other lenders and they said they would not touch it. “When I mentioned where the money had come from there was massive reluctance to help or understand the problem.
I do not believe the mortgage providers in general are ready for this issue and research tells me that a lot more people will be knocking on our doors with funds made or raised in this fashion.” Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, are not regulated by central banks but are held digitally via electronic identities that allow the owners to remain anonymous. Several building societies said they would not accept a deposit derived from a cryptocurrency, while banks including Santander, Nationwide and Aldermore said they had no formal policies on the matter. Read more from ft.com…
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