There are no fees for opening a bank account in Spain
There are no fees for opening a bank account in Spain

Is a Spanish account required to buy property in Spain?

A Spanish bank account can simplify handling multiple transactions and payments associated with buying property, including the notary fees, taxes, and transferring funds needed for the purchase. Learn about the requirements of a Spanish bank account, compare costs, and explore accounts for non-residents.

Delia Mihuț
Written by Delia Mihuț
Published at 2023-08-25T09:31:13Z
Last updated at 2023-09-11T13:11:48Z
Readtime 4 minutes

If you're looking to buy a home in Spain using a mortgage loan, you may wonder about the specifics, such as needing a Spanish bank account or not.

If you're a foreigner interested in purchasing property here, continue reading to explore your options and understand the process.

Is a Spanish bank account required to buy a property in Spain?

Yes, you need a Spanish bank account to facilitate the property-buying process, especially if you are obtaining a mortgage.

Having a bank account in Spain can simplify handling multiple transactions and payments associated with buying property, including the notary fees, taxes, and transferring funds needed for the purchase. 

Keep in mind that in Spain, many insurance providers do not accept payments from non-Spanish IBAN accounts. The most widely accepted Spanish accounts, which grant access to the best suppliers and offers, start with an ES IBAN. 

While you can use bank accounts from other countries for some payments, having a local ES IBAN account is essential for optimal functionality and to fully access the benefits.

What do you need to open a Spanish bank account as a non-resident?

Typically, you must present identification, such as a passport or ID card, and evidence of your employment status or proof of income, such as a payslip or tax return. If you are a non-resident, you must also obtain a certificate of non-residency, which can be acquired from a Spanish police station.

It's worth mentioning that possessing the NIE number will significantly expedite the process.

Keep in mind that a personal visit to the bank is compulsory to finalize the bank account opening process. The bank requires your original signature and must formally identify you in person at least once. Once this step is completed, the account will become operative.

How long does it take to open a Spanish bank account?

Opening a bank account is relatively quick, with activation typically occurring within 1 to 5 days. However, there are alternative financial services through which you can open your account 100% online, without having to fly or drive to visit a bank branch. 

Which Spanish bank is best for non-residents?

The best Spanish bank for you will align with your specific needs. Do you prefer the convenience of opening a 100% online account, or are lower costs more important? Additionally, you may be eligible for discounts if you create an account at the same bank from which you plan to obtain a loan.

After considering these questions, you can select the most suitable option. Below, you will find 5 options to analyze.

Bankinter account

Bankinter provides an attractive option for investors interested in mortgages, home insurance, and various financial products. Spanish banks, including Bankinter, often offer better interest rates and discounts to clients who utilize their multiple services.

If you don’t earn your income in euros and prefer a foreign currency account, there are no conditions to maintain a minimum balance. You can open a current account in over 25 currencies, including GBP, USD, SEK, NOK, or CAD.  

Bueno account

Although it’s not a traditional bank, Bueno specializes in providing banking services to foreign property buyers. The process for opening a Bueno account is 100% online, and it takes 5-10 minutes. 

Bueno's focus on property buyers means they are the experts in solving new buyers' typical challenges and even offer to solve them on your behalf. They also support various languages, making their service very bespoke. 

However, it’s worth mentioning that they do not accept US customers at the moment. 

CaixaBank account

You can open the HolaBank account at Caixa from anywhere. Still, you must be a national or resident in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Or a Spanish national living in one of these countries. 

Although you can open an account entirely online, if you do not visit a CaixaBank branch in Spain to verify your identity within 3 months of signing the contract, the agreements you signed during this process will be canceled.

Also, if you need support, CaixaBank has 24/7 telephone assistance in different languages (English, French, German, Italian).

Banco Sabadell account

Sabadell Key Account is another option for managing money from abroad. You should know that this account can only be opened at one of Sabadell's branches. 

Also, you can count on an account manager to attend to you personally in your language. In addition, a free translation service is offered to make the job easier and help save time.

Keep in mind that if you get a Sabadell mortgage and a combined insurance policy and opt for a Sabadell account, your maintenance fee will be zero. You do need to be between 18 and 29 years old, though.

Santander account

A Mundo account for non-residents can easily be opened with your passport and certificate of non-residency. You can obtain the certificate from either a Spanish police station or a Spanish consulate in your country.

All you need is to be over 18 years old and a non-resident of Spain. However, you need to visit any Santander branch in Spain to open the account.

Wise account

Another option is Wise, a financial service that helps you avoid losing money on exchange rates, especially since mortgage loans in Spain are granted only in euros. You could save money on your deposit because Wise uses only the mid-market exchange rate.

Even though you can access a Wise account in euros, they don't offer a Spanish IBAN.

The same thing happens with Revolut and N26. They are excellent alternatives for international money transfers due to their low fees. Both services have a standard plan without fees, but they also have subscription options depending on the benefits you want to access. However, just like Wise, Revolut and N26 do not support Spanish direct debits.

What are the costs associated with opening a bank account in Spain?

There are no fees for opening an account in Spain; however, it's worth noting that you must pay an administration fee, either monthly, quarterly, or annually. Most banks will offer discounts based on the products bought and account volume, for example, a mortgage may qualify you for free banking. Note that some banks charge extra fees for transfers from outside the EEA, for instance, from the UK. 

Bank Annual Maintenance Fee
Bankinter 45 EUR 
Bueno 99 EUR
Caixa HollaBank 140 EUR
Banco Sabadell 240 EUR
Santander  240 EUR

Homevest assists individuals in securing mortgages for properties in Spain while residing abroad

Homevest assists foreigners and non-residents in securing mortgages for properties in Spain, even if they live abroad. It’s a solution that could save time and money in your home-buying process. 

Through the Homevest platform, users can access various non-resident banks in Spain and apply for a mortgage by uploading the required documents only once.

Homevest matches applicants with banks that suit their needs, enabling them to receive multiple offers. This aims to simplify the often complex process of obtaining a mortgage in a foreign country by consolidating resources and providing options in one location.

Don't forget that you don't need to have a bank account specifically with the bank in Spain from which you want to obtain a mortgage. 

Choose what's best for your financial situation and take advantage of support where you need it. Fortunately, buying your dream house in Spain is easier with Homevest’s help. Keep reading to discover all your answers when buying a house in Spain as a foreigner.

Sources used and checked in August 2023:

  1. Open a bank account in Spain as a foreigner
  2. Mundo for non-resident account
  3. Bankinter foreigner currency account
  4. Banco Sabadell Key account
  5. Sabadell account
  6. HolaBank account
  7. CaixaBank fees
  8. Bueno account

We recommend obtaining professional or specialist advice before taking or refraining from any action based on the content in this article. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Homevest Limited. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is accurate, complete, or up to date.

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