Banks in Spain

Most banks also offer certain types of life or health insurance, as well as household insurance.

When it comes to savings banks, there is no shortage of choices, and in general the Spanish banks are quite competitive when it comes to benefits and interest rates, especially if you have your nomina (salary) account with them. It’s not too uncommon for the bank to offer things like “No maintenance fees”, or to give you back a certain percentage of your gas/electric bill, mobile phone / internet bill. On occasion, you will also see that they give free gifts like iPads or small LCD TV´s as an incentive to have your nomina account with them.


Spanish bank account requirements are more or less the same as for any other country. Once you choose the bank you want to use when moving to Barcelona, the next step will be to decide what type of account suits your needs. Keep the following in mind when it comes to a bank account in Barcelona.

Generally, there are two main types of accounts :

Current/checking account (cuenta corriente): The most common type of account for your everyday banking.
The interest rates for current accounts that remain in credit are normally low.

Savings account (cuenta de ahorro): Savings accounts offer higher interest rates, but with a limited range of banking services and/or limited access to money, especially at short notice

Banks will offer their service to residents, as well as NON-residents. However if you are a resident you will enjoy a larger choice of products and services, as well as better interest rates.

To open a bank account in Spain, these are some of the documents you will be required to present:

  • Applicants must be over 18 years of age
  • Photographic proof identity such as passport
  • Proof of occupation or status (employment contract/payslip)
  • Confirmation of address (utility bill, driving licence or council tax bill no older than 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.
  • Depending on the bank more documents might be required

In most cases, when requesting to open an account the bank will ask you for your NIE. They might tell you that it is not possible without the NIE (depending on the bank), or they will tell you that it is possible but that you require a certificate from the Spanish police to prove that you are a non-resident. Neither of these statements are true for all banks. Bank accounts can be opened without NIE (depending on the bank) and as mentioned before it would then be considered a non-resident account (one of the reasons being that you don’t have a NIE yet).

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