Banks in Spain offering specialized services to foreign residents

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Section for people wanting to buy, sell or rent property in Spain.

Please note that this information is no longer up to date due to the huge reforms and fusions taking place in the banking sector at the moment in Spain. We will update it shortly.

Asthe number of non-Spanish house-buyers rises in Spain, so does the offer of special services offered by Spanish banks competing to convert foreign residents and non-residents into clients.

More and more banks employ people who can speak English, German, French, Dutch etc., especially in the areas most popular and long foreign house buyers (Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, La Manga, Costa Cálida, Costa del Sol ...). This is particularly important if you are thinking of taking a mortgage out with a Spanish bank (see also mortgages for non-resident house-buyers in Spain).

If you are planning on buying property in Spain and coming over for regular periods, it is advisable to open a bank account with a Spanish bank (see how to open a bank account in Spain). It avoids you having to change money everytime you come, and means that you can pay community charges, local rates, Spanishyearly property taxes and bills directly from your Spanish bank account which is much cheaper than doing so from your bank in England. If you rent your Spanish property out when you aren't here, your tenants can pay their rent directly into your Spanish account, which again avoids having to pay commission when changing euros to pounds.

Banks in Spain open from Monday to Friday 8.30 - 14.00 and, in the Winter, on Saturday mornings from 9.00 to 13.00 or Thursday afternoons, from 17.00 to 19.00. The name for current account in Spanishis current account and a savings account is savings account.

Most Spanish banks offer good online bankingsystems these days, although Bankinter - Spain's first bank to offer Internetservices - is still the best.

If you have a house for sale in Spain, you may need a Spanish bank account to payin the cash payment which often forms part of a Spanish property sale deal. If you don't want to return to your home country with a fistful of cash, it can be a good idea to put the money in a Spanish bank account (if you are a non-residentit won't be taxable) and then transfer it to your bank account at home. Some banks offer you the chance to open an account in sterling which can be useful if the exchange rate is particularly favorable at the time of the sale.

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