Bison Bank enters mortgage market with overseas buyers focus

 In Banks, Mortgage lending, News, Real Estate

Bison Bank, which is led by António Henriques, is to begin mortgage lending services in partnership with UCI.

The new service has been developed with overseas house buyers in mind on the back of increased demand for Portugal as a relocation and second home designation in recent years.

Bison Bank has traditionally focused on asset and investment management as an investment bank, but has increasingly seen demand for mortgages from its clients.

The mortgages will be sold in partnership with Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios (UCI) with the bank promising a premium bespoke service for its clients.

“Today we have many international clients and being the first bank of these clients in Portugal, Bison Bank understands that it needs to offer them basic services. For example, this has justified the launch of our debit card two months ago, and mortgages have been adopted as part of the same strategy”, said bank CEO António Henriques in an interview with business title Jornal Económico.

On mortgages, the bank is offering a fixed 10 or 15 year rate, a Euribor six-month variable rate, or mixed rates in cases where the mortgage is for longer.

“Since we have lots of International clients we think that the fixed rate mortgage would be of interest since in some countries it is preferred over variable rates and, as a rule, is the choice for most mortgage holders in Portugal who are not the main focus of this offer,” he said.

And added: “This product is also available for Portuguese clients, but we’re thinking more about international clients. Portuguese clients today have a very broad range of choice for mortgages. It is a very competitive market and that’s not our market since our focus is on high income clients.”

Bison Bank, which was created from the ashes of failed investment bank Banif, achieved profits of €641,000 in 2023, the first time it had made a profit since it was created in 2018, and one year ahead of the bank’s 2024 forecast-to-profit laid out in its business plan.

The profit compared to losses of €9.4 million posted in 2018 when the bank was created, which surprised the bank by exceeding its own expectations.