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As in England, opening a professional or personal bank account requires specific documents according to your situation. The main difference between being a resident and a non-resident is from a tax point of view since non-residents are not charged tax on their income.

Documents that you’ll need:

To open an account you will need your residence card (NIE). Residents are those who correspond to at least one of the following:

  • Live in Spain for more than 183 days a year
  • Own a business in Spain
  • Have a spouse or minor living in Spain

The documents you will need are:

  • NIE
  • ID document (passport)
  • Notarial notes
  • Administrator appointment
  • Articles of Association

Choosing a bank in Spain: the heavyweights

Amongst the 20 or so banks in Spain, there are 4 or 5 main ones. The Spanish Government with the help of the Brussels carried out a major operation to recapitalise the banks in Spain. Each one has its own peculiarities and differences: Santander is the top bank in Spain and one of the main ones in Europe. La Caixa is a mutual fund, BBVA work extensively with Latin America and Sabadell is an investment bank adapted to businesses.

Types of account and services

There are 3 types of bank accounts in Spain: current account, savings account and company account. You can make transfers throughout the world since Spanish banks all have an IBAN. While opening a bank account, you won’t be asked to deposit a minimum amount however, it is best to do so to cover any current expenses. You can pay by credit card, debit card, bank transfer but cheques are rarely used. You can also use the online banking services with the two main banks for this, Bankinter and ING Direct.

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