FINMA recognizes the adjusted self-regulation by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) in the area of mortgage lending for investment properties as a binding minimum standard. The changes will tighten the requirements for the loan-to-value ratio and the amortization of mortgage loans for investment properties. The tightened rules apply to new borrowers, but not to the existing loans or the existing standards related to owner-occupied residential property. The rules will come into force on January 01, 2020.
The self-regulation now requires borrowers to provide a minimum down payment of at least a quarter of the loan-to-value ratio, instead of the current 10%. The lower of cost of market principle continues to apply, whereby any difference between a higher acquisition price and lower loan-to-value ratio is to be financed entirely with the own funds of the borrower. In addition, the mortgage is now to be amortized to two-third of the loan-to-value ratio of the property within a maximum of 10 years (currently 15 years).
FINMA has been drawing attention to signs of overheating in the residential investment property for some time. FINMA intervenes when individual institutions take on excessive risks, but such measures are always backward-looking and only apply to individual banks. These measures, however, only have a limited impact on the general risk situation across the market. Therefore, FINMA had demanded a change in regulation that would curb the overall demand for particularly risky mortgage loans for investment properties. For this reason, FINMA welcomes the adjustments of SBA to its minimum standards in the area of mortgage lending for investment properties. FINMA will also adopt the new provisions in its capital requirements for the insurance sector, in an effort to prevent distortions of competition.
The definition of investment property, as set out in the revised self-regulation of SBA, does not expressly include the buy-to-let segment. This segment makes up nearly a quarter of all loans granted by banks for residential investment properties. FINMA takes the view that this segment ought to be treated in the same way due to its risk potential. The effectiveness of the tightened self-regulation is limited due to the exclusion of mortgages for buy-to-let properties. FINMA is, therefore, recommending that banks voluntarily also apply the stricter capital and amortization requirements to loans for buy-to-let properties. FINMA will continue to monitor this sector closely as part of its supervisory work and will, where necessary, take measures aimed at individual institutions.
Related Link: Press Release
Effective Date: January 01, 2020
Keywords: Europe, Switzerland, Banking, Insurance, Capital Requirements, Amortization Requirements, Swiss Bankers Association, Mortgage Lending, LTV, LVR Restrictions, Credit Risk, FINMA
Previous ArticleFASB Offers Targeted Transition Relief Under Credit Losses Standard
HM Treasury notified that, after considering all responses, the government intends to bring forward further legislation, when the Parliamentary time allows, to address issues identified in the consultation on supporting the wind-down of critical benchmarks.
EIOPA launched the 2021 stress test for the insurance sector in EU.
UK authorities jointly published the third edition of Regulatory Initiatives Grid setting out the planned regulatory initiatives for the next 24 months.
EC is requesting feedback on the proposed Commission Delegated Regulation on the content, methodology, and presentation of information that large financial and non-financial undertakings should disclose about their environmentally sustainable economic activities under the Taxonomy Regulation.
OSFI has set out the near-term priorities for federally regulated financial institutions and federally regulated private pension plans for the coming months until March 31, 2022.
Under the Italian G20 Presidency, BIS Innovation Hub and the Italian central bank BDI launched the second edition of the G20 TechSprint on the lookout for innovative solutions to resolve operational problems in green and sustainable finance.
ACPR published Version 1.0.0 of the RUBA taxonomy, which will come into force from the decree of January 31, 2022.
EBA proposed the regulatory technical standards on a central database on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in EU.
ECB published its response to the targeted EC consultation on the review of the bank crisis management and deposit insurance framework in EU.
BCBS, CPMI, and IOSCO (the Committees) are inviting entities that participate in market infrastructures and securities markets through an intermediary as well as non-bank intermediaries to complete voluntary surveys on the use of margin calls.