Bank Accounts

Old Feb 7th 2006, 6:01 pm
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Default Bank Accounts

Once again oh kind and knowledgable expats, I need to draw on your wealth of experience.

Am I right in assuming the following:

To open a bank account, amongst other items, I need an NIE number and an address. (neither of which I have)

To get an NIE number I also need an address.

My wife, daughter and I shall be coming across next year (I know its a long way off but I'm trying to do some of the leg work early), and until we find jobs, will be living off savings we have, and renting an apartment.

I understand that many of the household expenses such as electricity, gas, water etc are paid for by direct debit, for which I need a bank account.

Since I will not really be able to secure a rental until I am within a month or so of coming over, how do I open a bank account in advance so that when we do land, we have access to money etc to pay bills?

many thanks (again) for any advice given
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by rickstevens
Once again oh kind and knowledgable expats, I need to draw on your wealth of experience.

Am I right in assuming the following:

To open a bank account, amongst other items, I need an NIE number and an address. (neither of which I have)

To get an NIE number I also need an address.

My wife, daughter and I shall be coming across next year (I know its a long way off but I'm trying to do some of the leg work early), and until we find jobs, will be living off savings we have, and renting an apartment.

I understand that many of the household expenses such as electricity, gas, water etc are paid for by direct debit, for which I need a bank account.

Since I will not really be able to secure a rental until I am within a month or so of coming over, how do I open a bank account in advance so that when we do land, we have access to money etc to pay bills?

many thanks (again) for any advice given
You can open a bank account with just your passport and a UK address. You will sign a declaration of non-residency (annually), to avoid being taxed on the paltry 0.6% (!) interest you may get. That account can be used for direct debits and standing orders. I am currently using CAM for this (not all banks will accept foreign account holders).
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

If you are renting the electric and water is usually charged to the owner of the property so will be incuded or added onto the rental when due.
I opened a Spanish bank account in England at Bancopopular through advice at Lloyds, but watch out cos the account opens straight away not when you move over, they take out your non resident fee and you are in the red straight away, silly me assumed the account only opened when I arrived and put cash in it mañana in reverse.
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by jdr
If you are renting the electric and water is usually charged to the owner of the property so will be incuded or added onto the rental when due.
I opened a Spanish bank account in England at Bancopopular through advice at Lloyds, but watch out cos the account opens straight away not when you move over, they take out your non resident fee and you are in the red straight away, silly me assumed the account only opened when I arrived and put cash in it mañana in reverse.

Thanks for that, just checked out Bancopopular and they want 300 euros to activate the account, has that changed since you opened your account? Also how much is the non resident fee?
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by rickstevens
Thanks for that, just checked out Bancopopular and they want 300 euros to activate the account, has that changed since you opened your account? Also how much is the non resident fee?
Yes it must of changed cos they opened it with zero. If you bank with Lloyds ask them they might do a special deal with Bancopopular. I think the charge is about 8 € per annum, or double if its joint account.
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by jdr
Yes it must of changed cos they opened it with zero. If you bank with Lloyds ask them they might do a special deal with Bancopopular. I think the charge is about 8 € per annum, or double if its joint account.
Thanks for that - I dont bank with Lloyds unfortunately, I thought the non resident fee was going to be some rediculously expensive amount, I guess I've read too many horror stories on the forums to believe anything is easy or inexpensive to setup in Spain.
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

We use La Caixa and used our passport to open an account. we have found them excellent, and if you so wish you can also open a sterling account with them as well.
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

We opened with SOL Bank. They guarantee to have english speaking staff, have an excellent web site for on line banking, and as said above you can open with a passport and UK address.
They also don't charge for paying money into your account, which some do.
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

We have set our Account up with CAM bank. Loads of branches, good website in english, english speaking helpline, don't charge for receiving funds, only charge 17 euros per two years non-residents charge and 30 euros maintenance charge for the account.

We went into every bank and wrote down all the details of each and compared them. We wanted SOL bank because of the website, amount of different cards, their sterling savings account 4% (which is quite good for Spain) but the nearest branch to our place was not near enough. We will open an account there when we move there and put our sterling funds that we require immediate access to for the good rate.
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Old Feb 7th 2006, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by pwwm
We use La Caixa and used our passport to open an account. we have found them excellent, and if you so wish you can also open a sterling account with them as well.
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Yes, La Caixa also comes recommended to me by the Spanish half of my family as well, although you have to go visit one of their offices to open an account if you're non-resident (as I understand it). Otherwise, you can do it through their web site which (like the CAM's) is rather good in terms of what you can do online.

CAM charged me precisely, erm, €0 to open a non-res account, but all banks will charge you for the standing orders and direct debits. Again, I opened the account walking into one of their offices.

Of course, if you prefer to queue for hours for simple banking transactions, avoid all the banks with good online services
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Old Feb 8th 2006, 3:57 am
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by Unexpat
Yes, La Caixa also comes recommended to me by the Spanish half of my family as well, although you have to go visit one of their offices to open an account if you're non-resident (as I understand it). Otherwise, you can do it through their web site which (like the CAM's) is rather good in terms of what you can do online.

CAM charged me precisely, erm, €0 to open a non-res account, but all banks will charge you for the standing orders and direct debits. Again, I opened the account walking into one of their offices.

Of course, if you prefer to queue for hours for simple banking transactions, avoid all the banks with good online services

Wow thanks for all the recommedations, can I safely assume that once we're moved across its a simple case of going into the bank and changing your address with them?
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Old Feb 8th 2006, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Originally Posted by rickstevens
Wow thanks for all the recommedations, can I safely assume that once we're moved across its a simple case of going into the bank and changing your address with them?
When you open a NON RESIDENTS account in Spain you will need to go to the bank and get a Resident's account once you are a Resident. You can be a NON RESIDENT and have post redirected to your Spanish address or you can ask for 'paperless' banking and print off all your statements. I think Spanish banks are getting very 'savvy' these days. The Internet has been a big bonus for Online Banking. Grupo Santander (who are the largest banking Grupo) bought ABBEY in UK and now have the Santander logo on Abbey. I suppose that if you already an ABBEY customer in UK then Santander could be the first place to look ?
HALIFAX (Royal Bank of Scotland) in UK opened HALIFAX SPAIN a few years back and already have a number of branches in southern Spain including Seville and the CDS and of course Madrid. They have some details of opening an account on www.halifax.es
BBVA which is a major banking group has introduced an English language service on the Internet since about one year ago so things are getting more and more 'user friendly'. They are probably 2 nd largest bank.
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Old Feb 8th 2006, 9:57 am
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Good morning everyone

Can anyone tell me the situation with withdrawing money from Spanish banks, can you only withdraw your funds from the actual bank, or do they have a system like in England where you can use any other bank's cashpoint with your card. We are moving out to Spain in April and as an existing customer of the Halifax I could probably use them in Spain, I don't think they have any branches in the Cadiz area though?

Amara x
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Old Feb 8th 2006, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Bank Accounts

Hi Amara

Yes you can have an atm card but there is a yearly charge for them, also you need to be carefull which ATM you use and the charge for using varies considerably. We can use the Servired (I think that is correct spelling) with no charge but, your bank can tell you which is the best to use. We also still hold Nationwide account in the UK if you have one of their cards they do not charge you for using abroad as I believe others do.

Re a previous post, the queue's here in the banks are horrendous. but at least we have found living here our friendly bank will also sort out non bank related problems, not sure if they will all do that, so go online and bank that way.

Very easy to open an account at a bank of your choice, take your passport, as easy as that once you get past the queue.

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Old Feb 8th 2006, 11:18 am
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Hi pwwm - thanks for your reply - do you have separate cards over there? or is it like here ? ie one card does all - cashpoint/debit and cheque card? thanks again Amara
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