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Top US bank keen on Swiss mortgage market

Top US bank keen on Swiss mortgage market

Demand for house ownership continues to be high. Cantonal banks and the three leading financial institutes currently hold the lion’s share in the mortgage market.

Swiss retail banks may face increased competition by a leading United States bank on the domestic housing market.

The Goldman Sachs group is reportedly considering plans to enter the Swiss mortgage market, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

The financial advisory company Moneypark has been mandated about a year ago to examine possible products and the demand for mortgages, the company’s CEO Stefan Heitmann is quoted as saying.

Goldman Sachsexternal link confirmed it has been active in the housing market in Europe for several years and does not exclude the possibility of extending its business to Switzerland.

However, it did not elaborate.

Experts say the bank may target lower income clients, including old age pensioners and single parents, offering them more favourable conditions for taking out mortgages than other banks, notably challenging the leading Raiffeisen bank in the sector.

Switzerland has the lowest rate of house ownership in Europe, according Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Only 35% of all Swiss households are financed through a mortgage, the NZZ am Sonntag says.

The volume of mortgages in Switzerland has grown by nearly 50% over the past decade and the country’s housing market remains attractive for investors despite concerns over a housing bubble.

Full story here
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