Open a bank account in Spain for a resident: practical information!

Are you planning on settling in Spain and wanting to know a little more about how to open a bank account in Spain? Do you have a plan to start a business in Spain but opening a Spanish bank account is necessary and you need to know which documents are required? Read the following to find all the answers to your questions.

What are the steps for opening a bank account in Spain?

Firstly, you should know there are two types of current account in Spain: the current account for a resident and one for a non-resident. A current account for a resident is intended for tax residents in Spain, Spanish or foreign, but for those who can prove their residence (with a Certificado de Empadronamiento) and those who pay taxes in Spain.

A current account for non residents on the other hand is intended for non residents but still with a property in Spain (e.g. a holiday home) or working in Spain but not a Spanish tax resident, that is to say they do not spend more than 183 days there nor do they pay taxes. Please note that commissions are higher for a non-resident.

Regardless of whether you are a resident or not, in order to open an account just head to the bank of your choice with the required documents. To help you with choosing, here is a ranking of the best Spanish banks based on their reputation.

  1. Santander
  2. La Caixa
  3. BBVA
  4. Caja Madrid
  5. Bankinter
  6. ING Direct
  7. Banco Sabadell
  8. Banaja
  9. Banco Popular
  10. Banesto

Some small pointers with regards to Santander, La Caixa, BBVA and Sabadell: Santander is one of the largest banks in Europe, but proves to be a little inflexible, La Caixa is a mutual fund, BBVA works primarily with Latin American whilst Sabadell is a business bank for entrepreneurs and is most suited to foreign investors. So, if you are planning to start a business in Spain, we recommend you head to Sabadell since they are used to dealing with foreign business owners.

Which documents are required to open a bank account?

If you are not a Spanish resident, go to the bank branch of your choice with your passport or ID card as well as your NIE number. Be aware that banks are obliged to ensure that their customers always have this non-residency status every two years. Banks in Spain require no minimum deposit amount to open an account in Euros but may request one if you wish to open one in a foreign currency. As for management fees, most banks charge a small amount for the annual management of the account of around 15 to 25 Euros.

Opening an account as a Spanish resident

You will need your NIE for this but once you have obtained it, take it to the bank with a piece of ID, a residency card and proof of address in Spain.

Opening an account as a non-resident

The difference between the two accounts for a resident and a non-resident is that for non-residents the account is not taxable. It is therefore completely possible to open an account as a non-resident.

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