Dutch banks come under fire

24th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Real estate agents and solicitors claim that financing for property in low-income areas is consistently turned down.

Rotterdam – The housing ministry will investigate whether banks haved denied mortgages to people in low-income neighbourhoods in the areas of Rotterdam and The Hague, according to de Volkskrant.

Since the start of the economic crisis, it has become more difficult to obtain a mortgage for property in areas that are the target of government regeneration policy, the Dutch newspaper reported.

Real estate agents and solicitors claim that financing for property in such low-income areas is consistently turned down. However, it remains unclear whether the mortgage requests are being denied on the grounds of income or property location.

Vic van Heeswijk, a Rotterdam solicitor, told de Volksrant that "banks are only willing to approve safe mortgages. Difficult neighbourhoods and risky buyers are simply being disqualified. Although their exclusion is not an official policy, that is what their strategy boils down to."

The housing ministry said banks should only be allowed to consider people's incomes, not their postal codes.

Market leader Rabobank responded that it has no policy to withhold mortgages for property in particular areas. Other banks also deny the accusations.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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