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Foreigners who are planning on moving to Spain should and are allowed to open up a bank account in Spain. A Spanish bank account would ease financial transactions such as online payments or utility subscriptions.
At Tekce Visa, our representatives provide professional guidance on extensive legal services, from legal consultancy to opening a bank account. Here is a short guide on how to open a bank account in Spain by the experts of Tekce Visa.
Foreigners must have a bank account for every financial transaction in a bank network. These could be low-cost money transfers, cash withdrawals anytime and anywhere in Spain, and automatic payments for utility bills.
The context is wider than this. But essentially, foreign residents or non-residents should open a Spanish bank account to ease their financial transactions.
Let’s say you are buying a property in Spain or planning to make a big-budget investment. You need a current account in Spain to transfer the whole money from your country’s bank to a Spanish bank.
A Spanish bank account also comes in handy for expats who move to Spain. In this way, they can manage their regular payments easily such as water and electricity bills.
Mainly, the types of bank accounts are divided into two categories by the account owner: Resident accounts and non-resident accounts. The main difference between these two is their flexibility.
Resident accounts are more flexible and capacitated according to a resident’s financial transactions.
On the other hand, non-resident accounts are easy to open yet cut short in terms of perks. Foreigners who do not plan to live in Spain permanently usually choose a non-resident bank account. This account allows completing basic transactions.
Also, it is possible to change a non-resident account into a resident account in time.
There are multiple subtypes of accounts that appeal to each transaction. People often get confused about which one to choose. Here are the subtypes of bank accounts in Spain:
• Current Account (Cuentas Corrientes): Current account, or transaction account, is the world’s most common type of bank account. Opening a checking account provides financial transactions like transferring or receiving money, making payments, withdrawing cash from ATMs, etc.
Some banks may require a small amount of opening fee. However, some banks offer fee-free current accounts, which are exempted from opening and maintenance expenses.
• Savings Account (Cuentas de Ahorro): These types of accounts are used to deposit money and earn interest. Savings accounts are usually exempted from opening and maintenance fees.
• Salary Account (Cuentas Nómina): These accounts are linked to your monthly paycheck. On payday, your salary is transferred to this account by your employer. These commission-free accounts offer quite beneficial bonuses from time to time.
• Company Accounts (Cuentas Empresa): These accounts are dedicated to your business. If you are a business owner, company accounts would be beneficial to keep track of your income and expenses. It gives more flexibility due to your business necessities.
Opening a bank account is a simple procedure that can be finalized within 4 main stages. Here are the 4 main stages of opening a new bank account in Spain:
• The first step is getting information about the banking system and its requirements for opening a bank account in Spain. This is the key step because you need to acquire true information to avoid pitfalls.
You need to decide which bank is more suitable for your needs and which one provides more benefits and flexibility. If you are not familiar with the banking system of Spain, this part might be a tricky one for you.
To make sure that you’ve made the right choice, it would be better to consult an expert. The experienced legal consultants of Tekce Visa will guide you through the whole process.
• The second step is gathering the required documents. The bank you want to work with may require some personal information. Your documents should be submitted to the bank as absolute. In case of a missing document, your procedure can be prolonged.
• Visiting the bank in person and submitting the papers comes in third. You can also open a bank account online. But you still may need to visit the bank in person to sign the agreements.
• After following the instructions of the bank officers, the legal procedures will be finalized. The verification process may conclude on the same day, or it could take a day or two.
After the verification, congrats; now you have a Spanish bank account. You can complete your financial transactions in no time!
Spanish citizens, EU nationals, and foreigners can open a Spanish bank account. The type of the account may differ as resident and non-resident.
Foreigners who spend up to 183 days in a year in Spain are considered non-residents. Foreigners usually apply for a non-resident account. It is easier to acquire and can be transformed into a resident account in time.
In general, it is charge-free to open a bank account in Spain. However, this depends on the bank that you are working with and the account type. But there could be some additional expenses such as maintenance fees, transfer cuts, and more.
A maintenance fee is required by the bank to keep your account active. It is charged annually and could cost you between 100 – 200 Euros.
The debit card fee is also an annual fee for using the debit card associated with the account. It could cost around 30 – 60 Euros.
ATM fees are required by banks for certain transactions. These include withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM or using an international debit card on a Spanish ATM, etc.
Withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM can cost a minimum of 3 Euros and increases in line with the withdrawal amount. The percentage of the fee changes between 2% and 5% of the amount. Each bank charges differently.
Money transfers within the EU and international money transfers are also among transaction expenses. The money transfer to another EU member country’s bank cost less than transferring to third countries. International money transfer is definitely the most pricy one of all.
Keep in mind that these transactions may cost you nothing or more than the given examples depending on the bank. Some banks do not require payment for these services, and some may claim more. So it would be beneficial to find a bank that offers the best deal to its customers.
Foreigners planning to apply for a new Spanish bank account should submit documents. These papers should include their personal information.
Here are some documents needed to open a bank account in Spain as a non-resident:
• Valid passport
• NIE number (Also known as the foreign identification number)
• Proof of residency (This could be a certificate of residence, a utility bill, or an official letter from the government agencies)
• Proof of employment, income or last tax return (This is mostly required from citizens of non-EU countries)
• Non-residency document (Certificado de No Residente is acquired from local police stations. The bank may also offer to get this paper with a small charge of around 10-15 €.
These documents should be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator called Traductor Jurado.
And residents are also obliged to submit similar papers. Here are the documents to open a resident bank account in Spain:
• Valid passport
• DNI (National Identity Document) or an identity card
• Proof of address in Spain, such as a utility bill not older than 3 months
• Proof of employment, such as the latest payroll
Some banks may require additional statements such as proof of quarterly VAT payment or DAE (Declaración de Actividad Económica). This paper shows the economic activity of the applicant.
• In Spain, private and public banks are two different concepts of financial institutions. Bancos privados are private banks owned by shareholders, while state-owned banks are called “Bancos públicos”. Getting things done is easier, ATMs are more accessible and the services are relatively wider in private banks.
• It is possible to open your new bank account remotely via mobile apps or online banking. However, you still might need to go to visit the branch for signing the agreements and submitting the documents.
Also, to avoid misconceptions and errors, visiting the bank in person is the safest choice. You can also give power of attorney to the legal representatives of Tekce Visa. Our consultants will successfully handle the whole procedure on your behalf.
• In central locations, finding an English-speaking bank officer might be easy. But most of the time this cannot be the case. To eliminate the language barriers and smoothen the process, you should visit the bank with a Spanish-speaking legal consultant.
• NIE number is required for bank account applications, so it would be good to get your foreign identification number beforehand.
• While choosing which bank to work with, there are certain factors to pay attention to. For example, the bank’s accessibility bears great importance. The location and the distribution of its branches, or the number of ATMs must be considered.
Also, you need to make sure that their customer service is convenient. In case of any error, you need to get a quality service to find quick solutions.
The offers and deals a bank can offer are also important factors when choosing a bank. The rates of fees and transactional costs must be analyzed beforehand. Otherwise, you might get upset about how pricy your transactions could get.
Tekce Visa’s legal consultants with years of experience are happy to guide you through the whole process. With a power of attorney, our representatives even finalize the whole complicated process on your behalf.
Contact our legal advisors today to open up a new bank account in Spain in the blink of an eye!