Bank of China opens in London

Bank of China opens in London

The recent opening of the Bank of China in the heart of London demonstrates just how much of a stake China has in the U.K. and sends a clear signal to Chinese investors.

In fact, the Bank of China is already funding a £100 million (US$ 157 million) hotel at Queen Anne’s Chambers, near New Scotland Yard.

The Chinese bank is also financing the purchase of a £32 million (US$ 50 million) office block in the City of London.

Just last week, representatives from the Bank of China, along with solicitors from law firm DLA Piper and property agents from Jones Lang LaSalle, took part in a series of presentations to Chinese investors in Beijing and Shanghai.

Their aim was to advise Chinese nationals who are interested in property in London.

James Thomas, head of residential sales at Jones Lang LaSalle, commented; “The invited audiences were clients of the Bank of China, so a pretty select bunch. We told them what is driving the London market. DLA Piper talked through the legal issues and the Bank of China indicated how much they could borrow and remit.”

The super-rich Chinese have been buying property in London for several years, as most made their money from manufacturing outside of China and were free to move their money around.

However, current legislation means it is now possible for all Chinese nationals to own property abroad.

Individuals holding Renminbi (the official currency of China) can send approximately £30,000 (US$ 47,000) out of China each year.  Whilst as individuals, this is not nearly enough to buy property in London, family members often join funds together to enable them to buy.

The Bank of China in the UK can also grant mortgages to Chinese nationals in a very short time, making it possible for them to put together the asking price.

As a result, there are now new groups of Chinese investors buying up London property.

If Chinese fiscal policy remains the same, the numbers of Chinese buying property in London looks set to increase.

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