OPENING A RESIDENTS BANK ACCOUNT IN SPAIN
If you intend opening a business, studying, working or becoming a resident in Spain (A person who spends more than 3 months per annum in Spain should apply for residency).
Resident’s accounts offer slightly better commissions and fewer charges than Non-resident accounts, but the difference is marginal.
Passport: You will need a valid passport as proof of identity.
Proof of home address, ie a recent utility bill or your Padron.
Proof of employment status - A certified copy of your employment contract, or unemployment documents, or student card.
Selecting a bank means you should shop around as charges do differ according to the region as well as the institution.
Usually, banks charge an annual fee for administering a current account (cuenta corriente) and can vary from €15 to €30 per annum. You need to also check the fees for debit and credit cards (tarjeta de débito, Tarjeta de crédito). Also check on fees on savings accounts (cuenta de ahorros) and the cost of cheque books.
Many people are a little taken aback when they see the number of charges on items which back home are free so be aware that you will come across charges you are not familiar with. Most ATMs carry withdrawal fees.
The major banks in Spain have websites but there are some whose pages are available in Spanish, but if you go through your search engine there is usually the option to translate the pages. Banks in Spain fall into two categories: Privately owned banks or bancos and those which are government owned or Cajas, which literally translated means pay office, or pay desk).
Open a Spanish Bank Account Online
BBVA : Account and Debit card Without Commissions or Fee / Register Here
Banco de Sabadell / Resident and None Resident Bank Account Register Here
INGdirect : Online Banking , Only in Spanish
Top Banks in Spain
BBVA (Spanish pages only – search engine translation possible) – A traditional bricks and mortar bank – If you prefer to go the traditional route then BBVA and Sabadell have a good reputation among expats.
Sabadell and BBVA allow you to open your bank account while your residency application is in progress and both offer English service.
Banco de Sabadell
Banco de Sabadell (website covers English plus 5 other languages)
Sabadell took over Lloyds Bank International in Spain, and they have an excellent reputation for helpful staff and for making the opening of an account easy and fast, especially as they offer a UK to Spain free and direct account for UK expats living in Spain, this is a Regular Transfer Plan account guarantees that any transfer of funds from the UK will be available to the customer within 3 days of transfer, and the right news is there are no charges for these money transfers.
Another product is their Prestige Care Account which does carry an annual charge but no further charges on transactions, credit cards or cheques and there are the options of the internet and telephone banking.
If you would like your children to hold their bank account, they offer Free Banking for young people between the ages of 13 to 25.
Opening a bank account with Sabadell can be opened with a passport only
NIE Number is preferred but not essential.
We use Banco Sabadell. They offer instant account setup and ease of use.
- Current Accounts
- Business Acccounts
- Loans / Mortgages
- Vehicle leasing
- Home Insurance
La Caixa is no 3 in the list of Top banks in Spain. Caixabank offers all the traditional retail banking facilities, and the good news is that you can usually find someone who can deal with all your transactions in English. Pensioners can enjoy a ‘no fees’ account and to avoid standing in queues, and for a small fee, the bank offers to pay all your bills i.e. electric, phone, internet, and insurance, direct from your account. The bank’s free protection service covers cardholders in the event of card fraud and theft. Apart from traditional banking, customers of Caixabank can take advantage of the many insurance packages from i.e. life, liability, house and car to pension. But do check your options before you buy, as you could find something cheaper elsewhere.
Caixabank English online banking: Website
Santander Internet Banking (in Spanish only)
Santander purchased an online bank – Patagon Internet Bank (Argentina) and changed the name to OpenBank. This online banking option does offer a free account. This ‘Cuenta Sin Nomina’ online account has no requirements in terms of deposit amount or minimum balance.
Another account type offered by OpenBank is the ‘Cuenta Nomina’ which offers a 1% cash back on any bills you pay through this account.
Interest on OpenBank accounts – No interest is paid on current accounts, but savings accounts offer 2% interest for the first three months.
ATM withdrawals – there is no charge if you use the Santander named ATMs, but there is a charge if you withdraw from your account at another bank’s ATM. As the costs change from time to time, it is advisable to check the cost.
ATM Deposits there is no limit on the number of free deposits at the Santander named ATMs.
DEUTSCHE BANK – Barcelona. Deutsche Banks has English speakers in most branches in Barcelona. Their website offers English, French, German and Spanish and a bank locator.
Online and telephone banking are available in English
EVO – A competitor of ING this offers an excellent account option for young people with its Cuenta Joven and if you are over 28 then the Cuenta Intelligence. Both can be opened with just a passport ID.
To open the Free EVO – Cuenta Intelligente account you will need to have a set amount that you deposit each month into the account and pay at least five bills a month from the account.
To open the Free EVO – Cuenta Joven account you need to be between 18 and 28 has the same benefits as the Cuenta Intelligente but no annual fee and no prescribed requirements as to deposit and payments.
In both cases, there is a fee for closing the account.
Evo website is in Spanish, but there is an English option for online banking.
Recommendations are that EVO is a great option for small amounts of Euros if you need to put it somewhere safe and be able to access your money easily at an ATM while you are in Spain.
There are many other banks here in Spain so do some research on which one would suite your needs best.