Europe’s Top 40 Lenders 2020: The Banks, Part 2

In the second part of our annual list of Europe's leading property lenders, we continue our rundown of the banks that carried on lending despite covid-19.

Welcome to the 2020 edition of Europe’s Top 40 Lenders. Now in its seventh year, this list is intended to highlight those most actively providing liquidity to Europe’s property markets today.

Here, in the second of four instalments, we continue to highlight the banks that carried on lending, despite the uncertainty created by the covid-19 crisis.


Goldman Sachs

  • Senior, whole loan, bridge, development, loan-on-loan lender (the investment bank’s Real Estate Finance Group); senior, mezzanine, development lender (the merchant bank’s Real Estate Principal Investment Area)

  • Active across Europe

  • REPIA lending in 2019: €600m (€300m in H2)

  • REPIA lending in 2020 to end Q3: €960m (none in Q2-Q3)

  • REPIA loan book at end Q3 2020: €2bn

US bank Goldman Sachs lends against real estate through two branches of its business: the Real Estate Finance Group within its investment bank and the Real Estate Principal Investment Area of its merchant bank.

REFG did not disclose overall figures, but is known to have closed Europe’s first sustainable finance CMBS in January: the €450 million River Green Finance 2020 DAC, secured by the River Ouest office building in Paris. It also sold the first SONIA-linked CMBS in February, Magenta 2020, backed by UK regional hotels.

In March, it provided acquisition finance alongside Citi for logistics firm GLP’s acquisition of Goodman Group’s central and eastern European logistics portfolio.

REPIA did not report closing deals in Q2 and Q3. However, in March it provided an £875 million (€979 million) loan to Deutsche Finance International and Yoo Capital for the regeneration of London’s Olympia London Exhibition Centre.

It reported that, by the end of Q3, it had signed termsheets for around €450 million of development loans due to close in Q4.

ING Real Estate Finance

  • Senior lender

  • Active in Benelux, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, central and Eastern Europe

  • Lending in 2019: €8bn

  • Lending in 2020 to end Q3: €2.9bn (€1.5bn in Q2-Q3)

  • Loan book at end Q3 2020: €31.3bn

Dutch bank ING said property lending since covid-19 lockdowns began has centred on the Benelux countries, plus France and Poland.

In the Netherlands, in April, it led a €187.5 million financing of Swedish investor Heimstaden’s €375 million acquisition of the ‘Amber’ residential portfolio from Patrizia. In August, it provided a €78 million facility to Heimstaden to refinance debt relating to the City Campus Max apartment scheme in Utrecht and for another residential portfolio bought from Patrizia in 2019. It also provided redevelopment finance to Nuveen Real Estate for an Amsterdam office it bought in April.

In France, ING provided €176 million of a €666 million August refinancing of AEW’s French logistics platform. It also reported a €62 million loan in Poland to local property company Globalworth Real Estate Investments. Other 2020 deals included a €78 million financing of four logistics assets for AXA IM – Real Assets.

Before covid-19, it participated in the February financing of JPMorgan Asset Management’s 10 Aldermanbury Square office scheme in London. In January, it partnered with Crédit Agricole in an €85 million green loan in Italy to asset manager DeA Capital Real Estate.


  • Senior lender

  • Active in Germany, France, UK

  • Lending in 2019: €6.3bn

  • Lending in 2020 to end Q3: €4.4bn (€2bn in Q2-Q3)

  • Loan book at end Q3 2020: €25.3bn

Germany’s LBBW closed deals that were underway before March and said it also took the opportunity to win new deals during the crisis.

Patrick Walcher, LBBW
Walcher: leads the bank’s property business

In July, it closed a €426 million financing, as sole underwriter, to Adler Real Estate Group, which was formed by the merger of Adler Real Estate and ADO Properties to become one of Germany’s largest listed landlords. The loan financed 3.9 million square feet of residential space across 23 cities.

“The deal process took place during the covid-19 lockdown,” a spokesperson said.

Also, in Germany, LBBW financed a food-anchored retail portfolio, which was negotiated and signed immediately prior to the German lockdown.

In the UK, LBBW was joint lead underwriter on a £578 million refinancing of the newly-developed 1&5 Bank Street office buildings in London’s Canary Wharf business district. The transaction was closed in November 2019 but was syndicated successfully during the lockdown.

Patrick Walcher is global head of real estate, based in Stuttgart.


  • Senior, mezzanine lender

  • Active across Europe

  • Lending in 2019: €6.5bn (€3.6bn in H2)

  • Lending in 2020 to end Q3: €2.1bn (€1.1bn in Q2-Q3)

  • Loan book at end Q3 2020: €9bn

Around the time lockdowns began across Europe, French commercial and investment bank Natixis made its first loan in the co-living sector, arranging a €106 million portfolio acquisition loan to investor LBO France.

Schützenquartier, Berlin
Schützenquartier: Natixis Pfandbriefbank provided €130m in April

In May, it arranged a €1.1 billion club loan, alongside five other banks, to finance a €2 billion portfolio of five French shopping centres for a consortium comprising Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Crédit Agricole Assurances and La Française Group. Natixis took a 20 percent participation.

In April, its German arm, Natixis Pfandbriefbank, arranged a €130 million loan to private equity investor Henderson Park to finance its acquisition of the Schützenquartier office complex in Berlin, which is in line for a revamp.

In addition, since the covid-19 crisis began, Natixis was co-arranger of a €382 million senior loan to refinance and fund the refurbishment of an asset located in Rome.

pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

  • Senior, development lender

  • Active in Germany, UK, France, CEE, Nordics, Spain, Benelux

  • Lending in 2019: €8.1bn (€4.1bn in H2)

  • Lending in 2020 to end Q3: €3.7bn (€2.4bn in Q2-Q3)

  • Loan book at end Q3 2020: €26.3bn

In October, pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank partnered with its German banking peer Helaba for a €107.5 million refinancing of the Futurama Business Park in Prague for investor Caerus Investment Management. Each bank provided an equal share of the loan.

At the time, Christopher Millen, managing director of Caerus IM said the decision to refinance was taken before the covid-19 crisis, adding: “Both banks remained committed to seeing through this important transaction.”

In August, pbb provided a SKr500 million (€48 million) senior loan to investment manager Barings to finance the acquisition of four logistics properties in Sweden. In the same month, it provided €51 million to German investor Trei Real Estate for a retail portfolio in Poland comprising 40 supermarkets.

In July, it announced it had provided €30 million to Catalyst Capital for the acquisition of a Munich office building. In the same month, it reported a €50 million loan to a fund managed by Norwegian investor Ness, Risan & Partners for the acquisition of a logistics facility near Oslo, and an €89.7 million loan to Nuveen Real Estate’s European Outlet Mall Fund for the Designer Outlet Parndor near Vienna.

RBC Real Estate Capital Partners

  • Senior, whole loan, mezzanine, loan-on-loan lender

  • Active across Europe

  • €2bn of new lending in the 12 months to October 2020

  • Loan book size: Undisclosed

RBC Real Estate Capital Partners, part of Royal Bank of Canada, did not disclose 2020 lending to the end of Q3, but did report lending around €2 billion in Europe in the 12 months to October.

The most recent deal reported at the time of writing was an undisclosed participation in October in a circa £300 million (€330 million) SONIA-linked senior loan to Blackstone and BioMed Realty to finance three life sciences parks in Cambridge, UK.

In April, it participated in a £2.4 billion senior facility to support Blackstone’s acquisition of iQ Student Accommodation in the UK.

The bank said it closed seven loans since October 2019. In two of them, it took underwriting and distribution risk for both senior and mezzanine debt.

In December 2019, it participated in a third of a €3 billion senior and mezzanine loan to Blackstone to fund the US firm’s purchase of Dream REIT’s German office portfolio. It also provided a £130 million whole loan to Brookfield for the December 2019 acquisition of the Nexus Place office building in London.

Société Générale

  • Senior, whole loan lender

  • Active in France, UK, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Benelux, Czech Republic, Poland

  • Lending and loan book: Undisclosed

France’s Société Générale declined to provide lending volumes. However, it did produce enough evidence of lending activity to warrant a place on this list.

In February, it co-led a €427 million pan-European financing of logistics owned by AXA Investment Managers.

In March, it led the £400 million (€439 million) refinancing of 25 Churchill Place, an office building in London. In the same month, it was sole underwriter of a €205 million financing secured by Paris office asset Défense Plaza for Northwood. It also led the €305 million refinancing of the Serravalle Outlet for Nuveen Real Estate in Italy.

In May, it co-led the circa €1 billion acquisition financing of a portfolio of nine prime French shopping malls. In September, it co-led a €111 million acquisition financing of a portfolio of Mercadona supermarkets, backing a sale-and-leaseback deal to LCN Capital Partners in Spain. It also co-led a €139.2 million financing of a portfolio of 46 urban logistics assets for Blackstone in Italy.

In October, it led a £290 million acquisition financing for the Schroders headquarters building in London at 1 London Wall Place in its first green loan in the UK.

Wells Fargo

  • Senior, development lender

  • Active in the UK, Ireland

  • Lending in 2019: €1.7bn-plus

  • Lending in 2020: Undisclosed

  • Loan book at end Q3 2020: €8.3bn-plus

In its submission, US bank Wells Fargo said its UK and Ireland business continued to support its core customer base since the covid-19 crisis began. It declined to declare 2020 volumes but provided several deal examples.

In September, it provided a £163.5 million (€181 million) financing to Columbia Threadneedle Investments for the Project Victoria portfolio, purchased from Manchester Airports Group. The loan financed properties including hangars, offices and logistics space at the group’s UK airports.

In July, it provided finance in the UK supermarket sector, with a £60 million loan to Supermarket Income REIT for a five-year term.

In May, it provided a €300 million upsized revolving credit facility to Irish company IPUT, including a €200 million component to finance projects that meet a defined set of sustainability criteria.

In February, it joined a consortium of banks to provide a £450 million facility to UK landlord Great Portland Estates. Wells provided £116.7 million to an ESG-linked element of the revolving credit facility, the first such to be issued to a UK REIT.

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