August 12, 2013 at 8:30 am #57744
I’m going to look into the question of which is the best Spanish bank for foreigners buying property in Spain, based on criteria such as:
- Online banking in English
- Ease of opening an account
- Banking charges
- Cashpoint / ATM network
- Balance sheet strength
I’d like to get some feedback and different points of view. Any opinions as to which is the best Spanish bank?
August 15, 2013 at 11:47 pm #117937
I use Barclays and find them very helpful. The Opportunidad account will charge you very little if you make little use. If you pay in 900 euros a month its free. You can operate it on line in English. They have an English speaking advisor in my branch. You can draw out cash free at Barclays branches and at another bank where there are no Barclays. I have read on this board that BVVA give free banking if you hold 500 shares in the bank. I have heard Santander give some concessions if you use Banco Santander in UK . Of these Barclays mabe the weakest if you plan to keep a lot of cash with a bank. The Spanish have a scheme similar to FSA which may be the amount laid down by the ECB that covers quite a bit of capital but bearing in mind the Greek expereience its good to check how much the cover is.
August 16, 2013 at 4:13 am #117938
Banco Sabadell is where we got our mortgage. My spouse’s paycheck is automatically deposited, so we get some benefits for that. It has been 1 year and 3 months since we opened the account and I have yet to see a bank fee. I transfer money from from the US via a currency exchange service to the Sabadell account and there have been no fees for that either.
This compares to ridiculous fees for everything at La Caixa. And those fees were demanded by the rudest and most incompetent staff. We had to write to the bank’s president to get their bank branch staff issue us the proper documents we needed. By the way, that tactic worked more than once, which was surprising.
The mortgage we got at Banco Sabadell was not that great, but it was during that period when it was impossible to get a mortgage. The actual euribor + 2% isn’t bad; it is the floor – the minimum interest is 4.25%.
The Sabadell web site is pretty good and the English translations are mostly apt. I’m able to pull statements etc. I have not tried to do any on-line transactions, but it looks like it would be easy to do.
I have to admit that I am quite surprised by how well this seems to be functioning. I will be making a few extra mortgage payments in September and we’ll see how that works out.
There are extra points for Sabadell for when I flash my Banco Sabadell card here in the US: The card’s logo is the initials BS, which means “bullshit” here in the US. So my drinking pals all think I bank at the bullshit bank in Spain. But I have leveraged the story into winning someone else picking-up the bar tab.
I am too much of a cynic to EVER recommend any bank. So let me say that – so far – Banco Sabadell is the least worst bank I’ve ever used. And that is the best thing I’ve ever said about a bank.
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