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Opening a Bank Account in Spain

Understand the requirements of opening a personal bank account in Spain...

To open a bank account in Spain the following is required:

  • applicants must be aged 18 or over
  • photographic proof of identity (passport or National Identity Card from the country of origin for each of the applicants)
  • proof of occupation or status (employment contract/payslip, letter from accountant/lawyer, pension or disability payment confirmation, student card). This is an extra requirement introduced in 2007 by the Bank of Spain as a measure to combat money-laundering
  • residents also need to produce their Foreigner's Identification Number and certificate (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros or NIE)
  • confirmation of address (utility bill, driving licence or council tax bill; proof of address must have been issued within the last 3 months)

An applicant with all of these documents available when visiting a branch should have their account opened almost straight away, although it will take a few days for the cheque book and ATM/debit card (if applicable) to be issued. In this instance, a bank may provide a temporary pass book (libreta) so that money can be withdrawn, until the ATM/debit card arrives.

Some banks accept applications for new accounts submitted by post, although a visit to a branch may be needed to complete the identification process and present the originals of the personal documents.

Note: For security reasons, most banks will not send cheque books or ATM/debit cards to overseas addresses; they will need to be collected from the branch if there is no address in Spain to which they can be sent.

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