Open a bank account in Spain

When opening a bank account in Spain, we must take into account our own situation and our needs. On this page, we show you the best Spanish banks, detailing which institutions are leaders in the national banking sector and which bank is most suitable for foreigners. We will also explain how to open a bank account as a resident and as non-resident. 

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Opening a bank account in Spain as a foreigner

Spanish bank accounts are available to both residents and non-residents in Spain.

Of course, bank accounts for residents tend to be more flexible and more profitable. On the other hand, if you just moved to Spain or do not plan to live there permanently, it will be easier for you if you open a bank account for non-residents.

In any case, you can always change your account once you obtain your residence permit. Changing to a resident bank account is a relatively simple procedure: just make an appointment at your local branch and take the necessary documentation with you.

Requiered Documents to Open a bank account for Nonresidents.

In order to open a bank account as a non-resident, you will need the following documents

  • Your valid, unexpired passport or national identity card (if you are an EU citizen);
  • A document to verify your address, which may be a recent bank statement or a bill for a direct debit service (issued within the last 3 months); and
  • A document proving your current employment status (such as a payslip, tax return or government letter confirming your unemployment status or that you are receiving unemployment benefit).

In order for the documents to be accepted, you will need to have them translated by an official translator, also called a sworn translator. Depending on where you live, it may be easier or harder to find an official translation service and have your documents translated before your trip.

Nevertheless, if you are planning to stay in Spain for less than a year, there are different options that may suit your needs better, like opening an online bank account that allows you to withdraw money in Spain without taxes. Here are some alternatives that may help you out with this:

Some banks may also require what is called a ‘Non-Resident Certificate’, which is a letter confirming that you are a non-resident. You can get this letter by going to the police office and showing your passport. Some banks may also offer it to you for a fee.

Each police station has different responsibilities, so you should check beforehand if the nearest police station offers this service.

OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT AS A RESIDENT IN SPAIN

To open a bank account as a resident, you will normally need the following documents:

  • Your valid, unexpired passport or national identity card (if you are an EU citizen);
  • A document to prove your address in * Spain * (such as a rental contract, a recent direct debit bill or a recent bank statement);
  • Your Spanish NIE number;
  • A document proving your current employment status (such as a work contract, a student card or a document proving that you are unemployed).

First, you must apply for your NIE (or Foreigner Identification Number), as it will be required for any official process. This includes getting a job, renting or buying property, connecting to utilities and paying taxes.

Open a bank account even you are not living in Spain

Yes, you can apply for a resident’s bank account online. In some cases, you can also apply for a bank account as a non-resident online. Either way, you will need to visit a branch or meet with a financial advisor to submit the paperwork. In order to that you will have to follow the next steps:

  • Enter the bank’s website: Access the website of the chosen bank and follow the guidelines for opening an online account. In many cases you will be offered the possibility to download the app (Ibercaja, CaixaBankNow or Imagin Bank app, among other examples).
  • Fill in the customer form: Hand in a copy of your ID card and fill in your address, telephone number, email address, account type and number of account holders.
  • Validation of the data and identification, either by means of a video selfie, a photograph, with the account number of another bank or by means of a messenger who will come to your home.
  • Description of the economic activity: Fill in the details of your annual income, current occupation, professional activity or company name and address (in the case of an account of this type).
  • Download and signature of the contract: Once the data has been validated, the contract will be sent to your bank account by e-mail. The signature is done by entering the verification code sent by the bank via SMS to your phone.
  • Creation of the access passwords: Both the passwords to enter the account and the passwords you will use to carry out other banking transactions.

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