Spanish Bank Accounts

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    • #188608

      Hi, first time on this site and looking for some advice on Spanish bank accounts.

      We have just paid a deposit on an apartment and need to set up a Spanish bank account which can provide the bank-guaranteed cheque once the lawyer has completed his diligence checks.

      Can anyone suggest a bank which is good for the rates on transfer of funds from abroad and paying back-guaranteed cheques?


    • #188611

      The fee for bank cheques is very negotiable, try to get the price in writing when you open the account. Some banks try to charge an outrageous 1%, though 40-60 Euro seems normal for locals. I paid 100 Euro for my first cheque (negotiated down from 600 Euro on a 60,000 cheque after a lot of complaining). Long established wealthy customers get them for free. This is LaCaixa. No fee for deposits (get that in writing also).

      For the transfer rates, that depends on your UK bank, I use one of the many online money transfer companies and save 1-2% (e.g. WorldFirst, UKForex).

    • #188615
      Mark Stücklin

      Hi Bernie,

      As Billg says, bank cheque (cheque bancario) costs are negotiable. It’s very important to nail this down when you open an account, as otherwise banks can really sting you for this.

      To give you a comparison, I paid €60 for a bank cheque from La Caixa last year, cheque amount was around €300,000. I didn’t have to negotiate this as the condition was included in my type of account.

      I use La Caxia for my banking needs and am happy with them. They have a brand for foreigners in Spain called HolaBank, you can find out more here:

      When it comes to transferring money from abroad, don’t use your highstreet bank if you also need currency exchange, for example changing Pounds into Euro. You get a much better rate from a specialist foreign exchange broker. If you are comfortable with technology, and don’t mind doing the buy/sell yourself, then I use for the very best rates.

      If, on the other hand, you want some advice from a currency broker, and someone to help you with the purchase, then there are several specialist forex companies to choose from. For example Torfx (see the ad in the column to the right). If you buy through them I get a commission, which all helps to keep this site running ;-).

      Where in Spain are you buying, if you don’t mind me asking?

    • #188629

      Thanks Billg & Mark.

      Our agents suggested Deutsche bank who charge 0.1% for a bank cheque and no transfer fee. We are also looking at Lloyds International but I need to check with the solicitor if they will accept transfers from this account. Their bank cheque cost is around 100 Euros so all very similar. I will look into La Caxia.

      For the main transfer we will be using a forex broker rather than a standard UK bank and happy to look at Torfix to see how they compare!

      I don’t mind you asking and the property is near Estepona.

    • #188634
      Mimi M

      Hi, we are in the same situation of Bernie. The problem we are facing is that, no bank accept to open the bank acc. Asking ridiculous documents which we can’t provide. can anyone suggest a more flexible bank in Marbella area please?

      Thank you

    • #188668


      same problem here , I tried Banco Sabadell last summer during my visit to Madrid ; they asked

      for many documents which are extremely costly to get . I am a middle eastern native and dont have any residency in the EU .

      Any suggestions ?

      I am looking at transfers of few 100K’s of Euros to buy a property in Spain .

    • #188670

      I am moving from California to Granada. Could anyone tell me how could I find out what kind of documents should I prepare to open a checking account with LaCaixa or other bank?

      Thank you.

      • #188770
        Mark Stücklin


        This is the case with La Caixa / HolaBank:

        To apply for a bank account in Spain while still abroad, customers need to fill in the application form and return it along with following documents:

        – Colored copy of passport and NIE number (if available).
        – Recent proof of home address, for example utility bills, for each applicant.
        – Occupation and income: if employed a copy of the latest tax return and a recent salary slip; if self-employed or company director, a copy latest tax return and a letter from an accountant confirming figures (shareholdings in the company, turnover, profits, etc.).
        – Recent bank account statement from main bank account and where you will be transferring funds over to Spain from.
        – Reason to open an account: for example purchase contract or employment offer.

        Please note that to finalize the account opening process and to activate an account, customers are required to attend a personal meeting at the designated local branch in Spain.

    • #188758

      Hi Billg, Mark

      With regard to La Caxia bank, do you know if there’s a monthly charge for their Hola account?

      • #188771
        Mark Stücklin


        HolaBank’s international Living Solutions account has an admin fee (€ 24/quarter). Services include (at no extra cost) debit or credit cards, and online banking in English and some 20 other languages (German, French, etc.). They also offer some other services for foreign buyers.

    • #188776

      I came to live in Barcelona in 2014 and needed to open a Spanish bank account.

      The easiest option by far was with Deutsche Bank….and they have many branches in Spain.

      All I had was my British passport, and a rental contract for the flat I am renting…..I have no NIE number…so they opened a “non-resident” account for me. The process was very easy.

      I do not use cheques, so cannot answer your point on that.

      What I can HIGHLY recommend….for transferring Sterling money from the UK to your Spanish Euroaccount is a company called Transferwise……

      They give a fabulous exchange rate…almost the spot rate. They are hard to beat.

      Hope this helps.



    • #188777

      Also…Deutsche Bank Spain have a website in English where you can do online banking.

      I was issued with a debit card no problem….

      To open the account tell them you are a non-resident. Later, if you live here permanently and have the correct documentation…NIE number etc… you can change it to a normal residents account.

      I have had no problems whatsoever with Deutsche Bank. (in Barcelona anyway)




    • #188782

      By all means avoid Sabadell / Solbank.  Not only are their fees very high for everything, they also refused to give us a Visa card that would work online even after we had had an account with them for 2 years.  So we went to La Caixa and everything works well including their ATM / Visa card which is free.

      Unfortunately, Solbank holds our mortgage because they bought out Lloyds and thus acquired it.  They continue to tell us that they do not have our passport copies even though we presented them 3x and they were scanned in front of us.  Next they issued us an ATM card for which we paid a high fee. We never used it and had to wait 45 minutes in line just to cancel it.

    • #188783
      Steve S.

      For transferring big amounts from the UK, I have always used Moneycorp.

      Transferring from Spain to elsewhere, I have always used Ing Direct as it was free in the EU and better than the other banks for worldwide but it seems the banks are finally coming into the 20th century and doing EU transfers for free now.

      For business use I have passed through BBVA, Cajastur, Santander and now Sabadell.

      Each of the first three had good terms initially then changed their deals without notice and started to screw us for everything especially “remesas” (bulk direct debits).

      Sabadell has been fair so far, but this may depend a lot on the manager of our local office who knows what he is doing and has ample common sense. Your mileage may vary.


    • #188789


      Would be grateful for info’ on bank charges by Spanish banks

      With Sabadell I pay 15 euros per quarter (termed Interests and/or commissions) plus a yearly fee of 25 euros(termed Service card payment)

      So, 85 euros per annum. Obviously, much higher than UK but how does this compare with other Spanish banks?

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