Progressive to launch new foreign currency mortgage in NI

Move is in response to increased demand from people paid in euro or US dollar

Progressive Building Society, Northern Ireland's largest locally-owned financial institution, has launched a new foreign currency mortgage product in response to increased demand from people living in the North who are paid in euro or US dollar.

It is estimated that about 30,000 people cross the Border every day, which according to Progressive suggests there is a mortgage market for people who are not paid in sterling but who want to buy a home in Northern Ireland.

The society says its new foreign currency mortgages are only available to customers who are buying a home, remortgaging or financing a self build in Northern Ireland.

Any customer who takes out a foreign currency mortgage will have to make the monthly repayments in sterling and the mortgage balance will also be calculated in sterling.


"For those paid in euro or US dollars, this product provides access to a Northern Irish mortgage. Employment patterns continue to change, and at Progressive we want to ensure our mortgage products support the individual needs of all people who live here," Jane Millar, head of lending and savings at Progressive said.

Because Progressive is a mutual society it does not have any external shareholders and primarily focuses on two main products – mortgages and savings.

Last year it grew its mortgage book to more than £1.5 billion for the first time in its 105-year history while its total assets also rose to more than £1.8 billion.

According to the building society the launch of its foreign currency mortgage is not in response to Brexit but is in keeping with its business model which is “built on providing a safe home for savings and helping people to buy their own homes”.

In its most recent annual report Progressive Building Society’s chief executive warned that it was “very aware of the potential impact of Brexit” and that the economic environment in 2019 will “continue to be challenging”.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business