Your account could be frozen if your bank in Spain doesn’t have a copy of your passport before the end of April.
To comply with five-year old regulations on money-laundering Spanish banks are scrambling to get copies of ID documents for all their clients before the end of this month.
As El Pais In English in explains: “April 30 marks the deadline for banks to collect and digitalize up-to-date identification documents for all account holders, as per existing legislation. For Spaniards, this means the DNI national identity card; for foreign residents, their residency card or passport.”
Banks are obliged to contact customers where ID documents are lacking, so you should be able to assume all is well if you haven’t heard from your bank.
But what if your bank doesn’t have your correct contact details, as is known to happen? If your bank can’t reach you, and doesn’t have a copy of your ID on record, your account will be frozen on the 1st of May. That could be a pain for property owners relying on standing orders to make regular payments like community fees and mortgage repayments.
Accounts will be reactivated once ID is provided, but if three months pass by without ID, accounts become known as cuentas de orden, which are harder to reactivate, and recover money from them.
“Some sources talk about more than five million clients without an up-to-date ID document, although banking associations refute this figure,” says El Pais.
Banks like Santander allow clients to scan and email a copy of their ID document, so it is not necessary to visit Spain.
If you have a bank account in Spain it might be a good idea to check your bank has a copy of your ID on record.