Whether you’re moving to Spain permanently or just going to spend a few months of the year, you may want to open a Spanish bank account. This can aid in the purchasing of property, the paying of bills and other transactions.
Bank accounts are available for both residents and non-residents in the country, but it has to be said that the whole process is easier when you’re a resident because the banks are more flexible. There is also the option to open a non-resident’s account and then change at a later date if necessary.
If you’re not a resident
You will need to take several bits of documentation with you when you go to the bank to open your account, including your passport and some proof of address, such as a bill in your name registered to your home (in Spain or in the UK) and sent within the last three months. You will also need a document that shows your current employment situation, which could be a contract, payslip, a tax declaration form or some official pension or unemployment paperwork. All these documents must be in Spanish, and can be translated by registered translators.
If you’re a resident
To open a current account as a Spanish resident, registered in the country as such, you’ll also need your passport and proof of address, but only for your Spanish address. You will also need to present your Foreigner’s Identity Number (Número de Identidad de Extranjero or NIE) which is needed for almost any official or legal operation in the country. Finally, you must take with you proof of your current employment situation.
It should be noted that costs in Spanish banks are quite high in comparison with other European countries, and the commissions can vary considerably from bank to bank. Some of the biggest and most popular banks in Spain are BBVA, CaixaBank, Santander and Bankia. It’s important to research your options carefully before deciding which bank to go with.