Help with banking in Spain

An essential part of moving to Spain is opening a bank account and it’s also advisable to open one when you buy a property. Having an account with a bank in Spain will make things easier for you and save on bank charges and commission when you exchange money.

How do I choose a bank in Spain?

Unless you speak fluent Spanish, open an account at a branch with English-speaking staff, common in resorts areas but not so common elsewhere. Make sure the online banking has an English-language option too and ask about getting your statements and documentation translated into English.

Should I open a non-resident or resident bank account?

If you’re living in Spain, it’s advisable to open a resident’s account because you will get preferential commission and fewer charges. All you need to open a resident’s account is your resident’s NIE or permit.

What sort of charges do banks make in Spain?

Banks tend to add a lot in charges for services like debit card transactions, opening an account, correspondence such as statements and transferring money. Make sure you know exactly what charges you can expect when you open an account. Note that most banks operate commission-free accounts subject to compliance with conditions such as maintaining a minimum amount in the account or having a certain number of direct debit charges associated to it.

What if I want to close my bank account in Spain?

Although straightforward, this transaction is not as easy as it might sound. You need to do the following:

  1. Do your homework – double-check your contract with the bank to make sure your account is not subject to permanency agreements; change your direct debit payments to your new account; and notify the change of account to all interested parties such as your employer, creditors, etc.
  2. Withdraw all outstanding funds from your account and request that the bank closes it. You will need to show identification to do this. If the account is held in several names, the other holders also need to go to the bank to close the account or authorize you to do so in their name.
  3. Ask for a certificate confirming that you have cancelled and closed the account.

Get expert assistance

At Costaluz Lawyers, we are pioneers in defending consumer banking rights and know exactly how to deal with banks in Spain. If you’d like advice on a particular banking issue or need help with any sort of transaction, contact our team or fill in the form below.

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