It is necessary for you to open up a bank account in Spain in order to complete on a house purchase.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Spanish authorities have brought in additional banking regulations. For customers with day-to-day banking needs (rather than investment or business accounts) this primarily shows as increased security when opening an account. However, the process is still easy and more straightforward than in many other European countries.

Choosing a bank in Spain

Spain has over 170 financial institutions, most of which offer accounts for daily use (paying bills, receiving salaries and so on). These are split into two types: CAJAS and BANCOS.

BANCOS, like most banks in other countries, are privately owned or public limited companies and are more likely to be national chains and major banks include.

Banco de Sabadell  (website in 6 languages, including English)

Banco Popular  (Spanish only)

Santander  (Spanish only, do not expect to transfer an account from another country easily)

BBVA  (Spanish only)

La Caixa (Spanish)

 CAJAS are state owned, and are often very local. Some have just a few branches while others are spread across a large area. They tend to be more socially and ethically aware, investing in local infrastructure and other projects

Catalunya Caixa and Bankia (a partly nationalised conglomerate made from joining a number of regional cajas) provide their website in English.

Bank charges and fees in Spain

Most banks charge an annual fee for administration of a current account (cuenta corriente). This is typically 15–30€. There are often additional charges for credit (tarjeta de crédito) and debit cards (tarjeta de débito); additional account holders; savings accounts (cuenta de ahorros) and other items like cheque/check books. Expect to also pay a number of small fees, such as a charge of 0.50–3€ for withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs.

Documents for opening a bank account

To open a non-resident account in Spain you will need proof of identity – your passport and N.I.E

You will also need to show the address of the property you are buying or renting – rental or purchase contract or the PADRON from the town hall

and some funds

We are happy to go with you and help you through the process of opening an account as part of our service to you