Banks at it again

  • 2009-10-01
Dear TBT,

As a foreign investor in property in Vilnius, I am disturbed at the fact that some banks (my bank is Unicredit and acting on this actionrepay) are asking for a re-valuation of property, in the hope of trying to claw back capital from the people they lend to. I have several properties and I am now being asked to re-value the properties, and if the loan to value is greater than 60 percent, then the bank is demanding that I repay the difference.

In the light that at the moment the reputations of banks with the public are at an all time low, the short-sightedness of these banks to try and claw back money from people who don't have that money at this bad time of the credit crisis is going to damage their reputation even more.
I read in one newspaper that the Lithuanian government is trying to increase and encourage foreign investment in Lithuania, but it seems that the actions of these banks will not only stall foreign investment, but decrease it. I am now thinking of selling up and moving on; in fact it would be cheaper for me at the moment to let the bank repossess the properties than for me to give the banks additional money just to keep them, not that I have the extra money to give.

I think that many institutions in Lithuania should read the 'Dummies guide to business, capitalism and finance' and hopefully they will be able to turn around a country with a very bad reputation for foreign investment, and create a good environment where foreign companies and individuals feel safe and confident that they can invest and build up a company and business without the risk that the institutions will invoke some unreasonable rule.

Not one of any of my other properties in any other country have I been asked to re-value and pay back any difference in LTV, especially as I repay the mortgage payments every month on time and never missed a payment.
This is a crazy country to do business in and I can see now why many of the ex-pats are leaving to a more 'hospitable' country to do business.

This is another nail in the coffin for Lithuania, Lithuanian business and Lithuania's reputation. Time to leave the sinking ship.

Billy Bob,
Vilnius
 

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