Great Portland Estates chief executive Toby Courtauld today criticised the banks for having unreasonable lending terms and said UK developers would continue to seek loans elsewhere.

Speaking at the British Property Federation annual conference this afternoon, Courtauld said the American bond markets offered better terms, adding that UK institutions were becoming ‘increasingly interested’ in lending to developers.

“There used to be a day when they [the banks] would give you a sensible amount of money on sensible terms. Not anymore.

“Our relationship with them is infinitely more complex than it was 10 years ago because they’re having to deal with legacy issues that are theirs. Not ours.

“That’s why we’re diversifying away and companies will continue to do so.”

Coutauld added that an emerging middle class in Asia was looking to diversify and spend more in the UK through wealth funds.

He cited the Koreans as a notable example, adding: “They’ll consider Manhattan, but London is always top of the shopping list.”

British Land chief executive Chris Grigg said he was also looking to seek capital elsewhere, adding that there was “a very deep debt capital market in the US.”