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Spain – Banking

Spain has a well-developed banking system with many options for both locals and expats. In this article, we will answer common questions related to banking in Spain, including the main local banks, whether UK and US banks have a presence, services for expats, typical bank hours, areas of concern, and how to open a bank account as an expat.

Local Banks in Spain

The main local banks in Spain include:

Presence of UK and US Banks in Spain

Many UK and US banks have a presence in Spain, including:

Accounts and Services for Expats

Most banks in Spain offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. These may include accounts in different currencies, online banking in different languages, and assistance with legal and financial matters related to moving to Spain.

For example, Banco Sabadell offers an account specifically for expats called the Expat Account. This account includes features such as no fees for international transfers, a multi-currency card, and a dedicated English-speaking customer service team.

Typical Bank Opening Hours

Bank opening hours in Spain vary depending on the bank and location. Generally, banks are open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks may also open on Saturdays, but this is not common.


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Areas of Concern

One area of concern for expats in Spain is the language barrier. While many banks offer services in multiple languages, it is still common for documents and conversations to be conducted in Spanish. Expats should be prepared to seek assistance from a translator or bilingual friend or colleague if necessary.

Another area of concern is the potential for long wait times and slow service at banks, particularly during peak times. Expats should plan accordingly and be patient when visiting a bank in Spain.

Opening a Bank Account

Opening a bank account in Spain as an expat is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Choose a Bank

Research local banks and their account options to find the one that best fits your needs as an expat.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

You will need to provide certain documents to open a bank account in Spain, including:

  • A valid passport or national ID card
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement
  • Proof of income, such as a payslip or employment contract

Step 3: Visit a Bank Branch

Visit a branch of the bank you have chosen to open your account. Bring your documents and be prepared to fill out an application form.

Step 4: Complete the Application Process

After submitting your application and required documents, the bank will review your application and determine whether to approve your account. This may take a few days.

Step 5: Activate Your Account

Once your account is approved, you will receive your account details and can begin using your new account.

In conclusion, banking in Spain offers many options for both locals and expats. By choosing the right bank and following the necessary steps, expats can easily open a bank account and take advantage of the many services offered by banks in Spain.


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