A question about foreign lenders

As a resident of Japan thinking about returning to Ireland, the prospect of buying a property with a Yen mortgage is very appealing (eg. 2.55% fixed/20 years). Now, I’ve seen several lenders here that advertise mortgages for overseas property, listing countries like the U.S., the U.K., Australia and so on. And I always assumed that there would be at least one who lends for Irish property.

But that may not be the case. I recently contacted a financial adviser that deals in these kinds of mortgages and he said, “My understanding is that there are local rules that only allow Irish banks to lend.”

Is this true? Does anyone know of such a rule? Obviously if I can’t finder a lender here, the whole thing is a non-starter. But I’d still like to understand what’s going on.

Doubt it, as that would infringe competition rules, something that the EU takes very seriously.

The central bank or financial regulator should be able to tell you.


I would suggest that this is rubbish as long as you complete money-laundering (to prove where the funds came from) how can you be refused the opportunity to purchase a property. I think the problem you may have is raising the finance through a Japanese bank who may have restrictive practices on lending to buy abroad but if you can get it then go fot it and fair play to you.

That doesn’t sound right as it stands. Irish law has no standing in foreign countries (i.e. you are borroing in Japan). Likewise, Irish law does not restrict capital inflow into the country. And finally, Irish law does not restrict foreign ownership of property generally (but you are presumably Irish).

Those Japanese banks may not want to lend against Irish property because of some legal quirk e.g. they might be restricted in their ability to record a lien agains the asset), but there shouldn’t be any regulatory obstacle.

What they can’t do is lend to Irish residents unless they are authorised in Ireland. Once you return to Ireland, presumably they are technically operating in the Irish market. If you stay in Japan they are not.