Why should I open a bank account in Spain?
There are lots of reasons and benefits you might have from opening up a bank account in Spain. If you plan to buy some real estate property or stay some longer period of time it is very useful and sometimes necessary to have a local bank account number.
Spanish banks are solid and reliable institutions. Currently the large Spanish banks have positively passed the financial stress tests conducted by the European Banking Authority and some of them rank within the top 50 largest banks in the world: Banco Santander got in the last report in 16th position and BBVA ranked 33rd.
Your funds will be secure in Spain because they would also be covered by the Spanish Deposit Guarantee Fund for up to EUR 100,000 for each account holder for each entity. Unlike other jurisdictions, there is no minimum ticket for non-resident citizens or companies to open their USD or EUR account in Spain.
Where shall I open the bank account in Spain?
There are lots of Spanish domestic banks which accept to work with non-residents, mostly the large ones such as BBVA, Bankia, La Caixa or Banco Santander. Please keep in mind that not all banks are working with non-resident clients and some of them could reject your request, such as for example Kutxa, who is only oriented at domestic clients.
The decision to use one or other bank depends more on the terms and conditions you may get, if the offices have proficient English speaking personnel or if simply you consider the location to be comfortable for you to visit the office from time to time.
Which documents do I need for opening a bank account in Spain?
Any bank must conduct the ordinary KYC (know your customer) procedures in compliance with the law against prevention of money laundering and finance of terrorism when a new customer, especially a non-resident, requests to open a bank account.
The main documents you have to provide are the following:
1.) Proof of identity, such as your passport;
2.) Foreigner identification number and certificate (número de identificación de extranjeros or NIE);
3.) Non-residence certificate;
4.) Proof of address or confirmation of address in Spain where correspondence might be sent (most banks allow clients to either pick up the correspondence at the bank or exchange their correspondence by electronic means via e-banking systems);
5.) Proof of employment status or place where the funds have originated (eg. employment agreement, income tax certificates, etc.)
Please note that all documents, which are not in Spanish or issued by Spanish authorities, must be translated into Spanish. A legalized translation is sometimes preferred by some banks.
How and where do I get my Spanish NIE and non-residence certificate?
The Spanish NIE is unique number granted by the Spanish authorities to any natural or legal person for identification purposes and is a mandatory document for any professional or legal operation in Spain such as opening of a bank account, company incorporation or real estate transaction. The NIE shall also be your tax identification number in Spain.
The NIE can be requested in the Spanish Consulate of your place or residence or, if you are allready in Spain, in the Police Station (Policía Nacional) or Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjería). You need to provide a full copy of your passport, the filled application form and payment of the application fee. Usually the NIE certificate is sent by email and has a duration of 3 months.
The process for obtaining the non-residence certificate is the same as with the NIE. It has also a validity of 3 months and it takes approximately one week to be sent.
Foreign companies have to follow a similar process as natural persons and would need to provide copies of their incorporation documents, extracts from the registry of commerce or equivalent entity and a document proving the authority of the representative (eg. power of attorney). All documents must be translated and apostilled or legalized at the Spanish Consulate of the country of origin.
How may we help you?
Our firm has wide experience working with international clients. We have collaboration agreements with several banks for granting our clients the best conditions for bank account operation, loans, mortgages and any other banking products you might need in Spain. Please let us know how we may help you!