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Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Old Nov 19th 2021, 2:24 pm
  #1  
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Default Bank account recommendations (for residents)

I've done some research and it seems that complaints are flying all around, and most of the time it's hard to say whether it's residents or non-residents who are complaining.

Could someone please post a few words about which banks have been good to deal with and which ones have been the opposite. Not looking for anything complicated like a business loan but just straight-forward, everyday banking.

So far I've heard that Sabadell is quite decent, BBVA also a good choice, Santander a no-no due to increased bureaucracy and below par service, completely different opinions about Caixa though I see a lot of foreigners with them which is a good sign since they haven't bailed.
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Old Nov 19th 2021, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

We each have accounts with Sabadell, changed to them almost 5 years ago after we moved house and all the direct debits were going to have to be changed anyway. We've been very happy with the service (were previously with Banco Popular whose customer service was dire, not surprised they got into financial trouble). Sabadell have extremely helpful and efficient in-branch customer service people (the two in my branch are both German but speak fluent English as well as Spanish) and their app for online banking is very easy to use. Their Expansion account was fee-free until the beginning of last year provided that a minimum of €700 per month was paid into the account but then they introduced an account maintenance fee of €15 per quarter (no additional fees for debit or credit cards, or transactions other than international transfers - which are best done via a currency exchange firm like Currency Fair or Wise anyway). This fee is waived if the account holder has a directly deposited pension paid into the account, or has an insurance product or investment product with them with a minimum value).
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Old Nov 19th 2021, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

We are with Santander and have nothing but good service.
Opened Non res accounts and told the branch we were planning to buy property, they gave me 6 months free banking and then halved the charge from then on.
Opened the wife's account as we were planning on moving 6 months later, they did the same again.
They also gave us a discount on their private healthcare partner Aegon for the first year which made it cheaper than all the rest we looked at.
I converted our accounts to resident in November, as was told in the branch how to bypass the account charges.
We have kept the healthcare as it didn't go up last year and is going to be the same next year..

I have however made an effort to always be nice when we go in and we have direct access to the lady who dealt with us (I even delivered a box of chocolates for them last year to say thanks)

Oh and a couple of months ago we got €100 each credited to our accounts for fulfilling the terms continuously...

As to BBVA the local branch has weird opening hours and they wanted me to take insurances left right n centre before they would open the account.,
The Caixa in the next town has been closed and is in the process of merging with Bankia who everyone I talk to (including the FIL) says are a bunch of crooks..

Banks like places to live are a personal choice, each town and the set of people working there will dictate if they are good or bad.
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Old Nov 19th 2021, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

If your Spanish is good enough, you could try an online bank or online bank account. The advantage is no commissions so you don't have to haggle them away.

There's a list of them here, I've got Openbank and ING, out of the two I'd say Openbank is better.
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Old Nov 19th 2021, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

We used to bank with Banco Popular. Previously they were Banco de Andalucia and were amazingly good. They then became Banco Popular who were useless. We are now with Caja Rural and they are brilliant. They are not a tinpot little outfit, they have over 2000 branches across Spain and have 6 million customers.

We pay no charges.
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Old Nov 20th 2021, 8:20 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Been with Solbank - now Sabadell for over 20 years. Always found the staff friendly and helpful. Various accounts with various T&Cs but charges can be avoided by paying in a minimum of 700€ a month and taking out insurance (I find very competitive) etc. I have also had various investments with them over the years most of which made money but now that is more difficult.
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Old Nov 20th 2021, 8:25 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

I fully concur with posts #2 & #6....

I am also with Sabadell Bank and, although I very rarely have to go into the Bank, I've had excellent service. Their banking app is very easy to use.

Steve
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Old Nov 20th 2021, 9:10 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

When I was in Spain we used BBVA and Bancaja, both good, and both had English speakers to help, and web sites in English, this was on the Costa Blanca so that may have been the reason for the English speakers.
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Old Nov 20th 2021, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
When I was in Spain we used BBVA and Bancaja, both good, and both had English speakers to help, and web sites in English, this was on the Costa Blanca so that may have been the reason for the English speakers.
I believe that you are correct about the English speakers because I have not encountered any in the banks in my area.

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Last edited by Rosemary; Nov 20th 2021 at 12:12 pm.
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Old Nov 20th 2021, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Some Spanish banks are trying to move away from face to face banking. I have had a Cajamar account initially non resident and later resident . No real problems and most branches have an English speaker available. However when my wife joined me here we got her a Cajamar Weferent account no charges so long as used via the online app (which is very good and in English if required) or the machines at any Cajamar bank again you choose the language to use. You only pay if you want something doing with personal face to face contact with bank staff. My wife has been using it for 18 months and finds it perfect for her needs and has paid no charges whatsoever.
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Old Nov 20th 2021, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Originally Posted by Fred James View Post
We used to bank with Banco Popular. Previously they were Banco de Andalucia and were amazingly good. They then became Banco Popular who were useless. We are now with Caja Rural and they are brilliant. They are not a tinpot little outfit, they have over 2000 branches across Spain and have 6 million customers.

We pay no charges.
Yes also with Caja Rural and their online site is also quite good.
As you say no charges if you are a pensioner & have your pension paid into the account.
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Old Nov 21st 2021, 7:55 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Another vote for Sabadell, easy, trouble free banking for 7+ years
I would not recommend their insurance side
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Old Nov 21st 2021, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Originally Posted by VFR View Post
Yes also with Caja Rural and their online site is also quite good.
As you say no charges if you are a pensioner & have your pension paid into the account.
​​​​​​They are part of Cajamar I believe and same re pension being paid in no charges.
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Old Nov 21st 2021, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Bank service can vary depending on which branch you use. Since you are / will be in Tenerife, you might be better asking neighbours and visiting your local branches before making a choice..
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Old Nov 21st 2021, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Bank account recommendations (for residents)

Originally Posted by missile View Post
Bank service can vary depending on which branch you use. Since you are / will be in Tenerife, you might be better asking neighbours and visiting your local branches before making a choice..
Agree
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