Dutch challenger bunq is now offering mortgages as a part of its new partnership with a third party broker.
This option enables bunq’s users to remove boundaries associated with obtaining a mortgage, thus encouraging people to become homeowners. The challenger bank is diverting around €100m of its users’ deposits into a new real estate fund.
Two-thirds of the loans are covered by the government’s NHG scheme, which guarantees the mortgage on properties worth up to €310,000 against events such as death, divorce, or unemployment.
The move into mortgage market marks bunq’s debut into lending as the company has never ventured into other features like overdrafts or personal loans. It would be interesting to see other challenger banks compete in the mortgage market as well.
Since 2012 bunq was able to go live across 30 countries and has processed over €433m in user deposits. This was done so without a cent of venture capital funding, something almost none of its competitors have managed.
Ali Niknam, the bunq’s CEO, was an avid programmer since childhood and studied computer science at the Delft University of Technology. He has launched the web-hosting startup TransIP in 2003 when he was only 21 years old. With money from TransIP he founded bunq.
Niknam said there have been internal discussions about offering mortgages directly in due course. “The next step might be to go direct to customers…but the jury is still out there,” he told Sifted. Niknam also pointed out the Dutch mortgage market has different protections and procedures to the UK.