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Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Old Mar 17th 2021, 3:18 pm
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Default Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Hi
On another thread, Ive explained my frustration about Spanish banks and my efforts to transfer direct debits to my Belgian account using the EU programme SEPA.

I am making very slow progress... But not there yet.

​​​​​I heard today that closing a Spanish account is a tricky process, and one has to present oneself in person with ID etc. Even Then they wont transfer the balance, (even though its free) and will only settle in cash, I heard.

I was hoping a registered letter with instructions to close and transfer funds to my Belgian account would be enough. For years Ive been transferring a monthly payment from the same Belgian account, to cover Spanish costs.

So effectively they are returning the money to the same place!... No security risk. So shouldn't be a problem .... In theory, but Spanish banks are weird!

​​​​​​Can anyone advise me, on how to do this please? Of course I cant present myself at the bank as I cant travel.

Thanks in advance

Jon
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Old Mar 18th 2021, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl
Hi
On another thread, Ive explained my frustration about Spanish banks and my efforts to transfer direct debits to my Belgian account using the EU programme SEPA.

I am making very slow progress... But not there yet.

​​​​​I heard today that closing a Spanish account is a tricky process, and one has to present oneself in person with ID etc. Even Then they wont transfer the balance, (even though its free) and will only settle in cash, I heard.

I was hoping a registered letter with instructions to close and transfer funds to my Belgian account would be enough. For years Ive been transferring a monthly payment from the same Belgian account, to cover Spanish costs.

So effectively they are returning the money to the same place!... No security risk. So shouldn't be a problem .... In theory, but Spanish banks are weird!

​​​​​​Can anyone advise me, on how to do this please? Of course I cant present myself at the bank as I cant travel.

Thanks in advance

Jon
Hi Jon, we have found the same as you. When we sold our property last year we managed to get all our funds back to the UK fairly smoothly. When all that was done we asked the lady in the Head Office in Madrid ( we are with Cajasur btw ) if she could then close the account. The answer was no and the only way it can be done is face to face. Obviously we don't want to travel until we have had our 2nd vaccination & also until people in other countries have had theirs ( so maybe next year). So, what we have done is leave a couple of hundred in the account, to cover quarterly charges, until we can be there ourselves to close the account. Take care, Bryony
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Old Mar 18th 2021, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Jon, that is so frustrating and the Spanish banks operate very differently. I have just closed a business bank account for work and it was so easy - it certainly can be if the bank involved does not wish to be awkward.

Bryony, to have to leave money there to pay for a service you are not having and do not want - only to cover the costs as they won't let you close the account is terrible !
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Old Mar 19th 2021, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Originally Posted by MEL & JOHN
Jon, that is so frustrating and the Spanish banks operate very differently. I have just closed a business bank account for work and it was so easy - it certainly can be if the bank involved does not wish to be awkward.

to have to leave money there to pay for a service you are not having and do not want - only to cover the costs as they won't let you close the account is terrible !
Thanks Bryony and Mel.

Bryony, thanks for your feedback. It is crazy, its been a while since you sold and you still have to keep the account open because of some antiquated system. One would think that there would be some EU wide similarity here, especially as there are EU wide programmes to standardise these things (like SEPA).

I find this extremely frustrating. It started with them freezing my account with no warning or notification, leading to late payments and penalty charges. The money is there - and they do nothing ... But take the monthly charge, of course! As they do with you.

Totally crazy that they believe that they can force you to use their services, without even allowing official written confirmations.

Re Bankia I sent the documents they require for the money laundering purposes, via their secure website, according to their policy, to unblock the account weeks ago. No response and still blocked. I sent an official complaint and was told that they would reply within 2 months!! They simply don't answer queries either.

Ive not seen such a horrible system before, and weird that all (or many) banks seem to follow the same dubious system!

What a mess
Jon
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Old Mar 19th 2021, 10:11 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

It rather depends on the bank you are with:
in Spain, I had to appear in person to close an account with one bank, but was able to do it online with another.
Not all UK banks are user friendly, I had to appear in person to close an account with Nationwide
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Old Mar 20th 2021, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Some banks/branches do make it very difficult to close anything. I want to close just my Visa credit card account with LaCaixa. I messaged my 'gestor' online from within Hola Bank, their online portal, asking for cancellation and she replied I must attend the bank in person any day between 08:30 and 11:00.
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Old Mar 20th 2021, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Originally Posted by missile
Not all UK banks are user friendly, I had to appear in person to close an account with Nationwide
Just closed a couple of savings accounts with Nationwide. Easily done online. They do say that if you have joint account, you need to appear in person with other account holder.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

I am in the UK and have just closed our Sabadell account by phoning the English number I have for them. We have a joint account and they didn’t ask any questions about the other half. I phoned a few days later to check it was closed and sure enough it was.
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Old Mar 29th 2021, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

"We have a joint account and they didn’t ask any questions about the other half" Wow, that doesn't seem right
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Old Mar 30th 2021, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl
Hi
On another thread, Ive explained my frustration about Spanish banks and my efforts to transfer direct debits to my Belgian account using the EU programme SEPA.

I am making very slow progress... But not there yet.

​​​​​I heard today that closing a Spanish account is a tricky process, and one has to present oneself in person with ID etc. Even Then they wont transfer the balance, (even though its free) and will only settle in cash, I heard.

I was hoping a registered letter with instructions to close and transfer funds to my Belgian account would be enough. For years Ive been transferring a monthly payment from the same Belgian account, to cover Spanish costs.

So effectively they are returning the money to the same place!... No security risk. So shouldn't be a problem .... In theory, but Spanish banks are weird!

​​​​​​Can anyone advise me, on how to do this please? Of course I cant present myself at the bank as I cant travel.

Thanks in advance

Jon
Hi Jon
We closed our account with Caixa recently and it was a total farce and involved a number of visits to different both Caixa banks in Ayamonte with no progress. Eventually we had to visit the main office in Huelva with passports etc. They closed the account eventually but could not pay out the balance of our account as they don't have a cash capability but the sent us to another branch to get the cash - all their cash drawers lock automatically at 11:00 so we had to run down the street and just got there in time.
As I say it's a farce. Sorry but you'll probably have the same hoops to jump through. We were tempted to withdraw everything except a couple of euros and leave the account dormant, it didn't have bank charges!
Mike J
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Old Apr 2nd 2021, 8:18 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Originally Posted by MikeJ
Hi Jon
We closed our account with Caixa recently and it was a total farce and involved a number of visits to different both Caixa banks in Ayamonte with no progress. Eventually we had to visit the main office in Huelva with passports etc. They closed the account eventually but could not pay out the balance of our account as they don't have a cash capability but the sent us to another branch to get the cash - all their cash drawers lock automatically at 11:00 so we had to run down the street and just got there in time.
As I say it's a farce. Sorry but you'll probably have the same hoops to jump through. We were tempted to withdraw everything except a couple of euros and leave the account dormant, it didn't have bank charges!
Mike J
Hi Mike
Ohmigosh what a polava! Spain is not a 3rd world country ...I cant believe that their Banks cant send a 'bank transfer' when you eventually can get through their already crazy system to close an account!!! Even when you are there in person!!

What a mess... I'm making progress re transferring the direct debits and cant wait to go to Huelva and shut it down (if I can). It means, of course that we are finally there, and out of lockdown. I wonder when that will be

Stay safe, hope to see you both this year....

Jon
PS Bankia has merged into Caixa with operations commencing in Q4... so I will have the same problems!!

Last edited by Jon-Bxl; Apr 2nd 2021 at 10:01 am.
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Old May 7th 2021, 7:26 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

To cut a long story short. I started this thread back in March after many years of frustration with the Spanish Banking system. Ive tried unsuccessfully to change accounts in the past.

The last straw was they suspended my account last year without any communication. Ive never been overdrawn. My monthly standing order payments-in were all accepted .... And the bank charges continued (for providing nothing!). My official complaint elicited a response, that they would answer in 3 months ! I nearly had services cut off and had to pay late payment fines

The Last straw!! But I was determined to end it.

So the end result is (after a LOT of work) that I have transferred all but one direct debit to my Belgian account. AND the Spanish account was closed on Wednesday afternoon. I didn't need to go to the branch, I got the balance transferred back to me.

And never again will I have a Spanish account. Ive been a full time UK expat since mid 90's and also an expat previous to that, and lived and worked in 3 continents, thus dealing with and having accounts with many banks. Ive never had anything like this crazy system!... And that was before the days of secure internet banking and secure communications and 2-part verification checks etc etc

Done and dusted!

Phew! Thanks for the feedback posts, it helped me plan a way out. I appreciate it

Jon
PS why does it seem that in Spain, so many things are just a drag! I guess its a price to pay ... But we still love it there .... And cant wait to get back... Very soon hopefully

Last edited by Jon-Bxl; May 7th 2021 at 7:30 am.
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Old May 7th 2021, 10:59 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Well done Jon !!!! I recently had a bulletin from BBVA telling me their charges are going up effectively. I plan to open a euro based online account which is free of charge. I've had enough of paying 120 euros a year to pay my utility bills and now they want more. Back in the early 2000's I had an account with a Spanish savings bank in Torrevieja. Forget the name, but the charges were tiny compared to nowadays and the service was excellent. I believe they were absorbed by one of the bigger players for being too good. Ha.ha.
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Old May 8th 2021, 7:07 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

John-Bxl,
Well done on accomplishing what sounds like a mammoth task. I am also considering closing our Spanish bank account once we are back in Spain, so maybe looking for advice if it is needed and if you don't mind.
Mary.
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Old May 9th 2021, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Closing Spanish bank account during CV19 - help

Originally Posted by MKABZ
John-Bxl,
Well done on accomplishing what sounds like a mammoth task. I am also considering closing our Spanish bank account once we are back in Spain, so maybe looking for advice if it is needed and if you don't mind.
Mary.
Hi Mary. Id be happy to help, please just PM me with any questions. I suspect each situation is different though. For example, normally one has to go in person to the bank to close the account and some banks won't transfer the balance. But you have to take it in cash.

We've heard on this thread some 'weird' practices of this crazy banking system in Spain. But it will feel good when you can finally extricate yourself from it!

Jon
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