Please note that this information is no longer up to date due to the huge reforms and fusions taking place in the banking sector at the moment in Spain. We will update it shortly.
As the number of non-Spanish house-buyers rises in Spain, so does the offer of specialised services offered by Spanish banks competing to convert foreign residents and non-residents into clients.
More and more banks employ people who can speak English, German, French, Dutch etc., especially in the areas most popular among foreign house buyers (Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, La Manga, Costa Cálida, Costa del Sol ...). This is particularly important if you are thinking of taking a mortgage out with a Spanish bank (see also mortgages for non-resident house-buyers in Spain).
If you are planning on buying property in Spain and coming over for regular periods, it is advisable to open a bank account with a Spanish bank (see how to open a bank account in Spain). It avoids you having to change money every time you come, and means that you can pay community charges, local rates, Spanish yearly property taxes and bills directly from your Spanish bank account which is much cheaper than doing so from your bank in England. If you rent your Spanish property out when you aren't here, your tenants can pay their rent directly into your Spanish account, which again avoids having to pay commission when changing euros to pounds.
Banks in Spain open from Monday to Friday 8.30 - 14.00 and, in the Winter, on Saturday mornings from 9.00 to 13.00 or Thursday afternoons, from 17.00 to 19.00. The name for current account in Spanish is cuenta corriente and a savings account is cuenta de ahorro.
Most Spanish banks offer good online banking systems these days, although Bankinter - Spain's first bank to offer Internet services - is still the best.
If you have a house for sale in Spain, you may need a Spanish bank account to pay in the cash payment which often forms part of a Spanish property sale deal. If you don't want to return to your home country with a fistful of cash, it can be a good idea to put the money in a Spanish bank account (if you are a non-resident it won't be taxable) and then transfer it to your bank account at home. Some banks offer you the chance to open an account in sterling which can be useful if the exchange rate is particularly favourable at the time of the sale.
|Other useful links|
|Latest news on the property market in Spain Selection of news articles related to the real estate market here.|
|Mortgages in Spain, a brief introduction to the Spanish mortgage market, how it works and interest rates in Spain|
|Spanish banks, before applying for a mortgage, find out more about Spain's most popular banks and Spanish savings banks.|
|Property taxes in Spain, description of taxes involved in purchasing property and yearly property taxes in Spain.|
|Useful Spanish vocab for buying a house - you should learn at least the basic terms. Check out our pronunciation guide too.|
|Renting property in Spain - if you want to buy to rent, then read this section and our free notice board of property to rent in Spain.|
|Spanish lawyers - information on lawyers fees in Spain for property transactions|
|Houses for sale in Spain - take a look at the kind of houses available. Or check out our free Spain property for sale board.|