Banking in Spain

Information on opening a Spanish bank account - what documents to provide - the credit and debit cards, payment methods, cheques and more...

Opening a bank account is advisable for anyone planning to stay in Spain for a long period of time. This can be done with resident or non-resident status. Most Spanish banks charge for their services.

There are two main types of banks in Spain:

  • general retail and commercial banks (bancos), including registered foreign banks
  • savings banks (cajas de ahorros)

The core banking services offered by both these types of entities are generally the same. One of the main differences is that cajas de ahorros are traditionally confined to specific regions or provinces, although the major ones have branches throughout the country.

Spain has one of the highest ratios of bank branches per capita in Europe; however, not all of these will offer an English-language service.

Residents of Spain are obliged to declare any overseas assets, including bank accounts and property. These must be declared using Form (Modelo) 720.

  • Modelo 720 (in Spanish) can be found on the website of the Agencia Tributaria