The purposes of opening can be completely different: to receive salary or pension to the account, link utility bills and a contract telephone to the account, pay taxes from the account in Spain (for example, the annual IBI real estate tax, transport tax, or IRNR non-resident income tax, purchase real estate in Spain in a mortgage, etc.
It would seem that such a demanded service should be provided by all, without exception, commercial banks in Spain with speed and ease. The situation is such that most banks are reluctant to meet foreign clients, especially citizens of countries outside the EU.
Over the years since the country came out of the crisis, the requirements for third-country nationals have become incredibly stricter. There is an explanation for this:
- firstly, banks learned a lesson from the situation of avalanche non-repayment of mortgage loans by foreigners;
- second, banks are diligently adhering to European anti-money laundering policies.
All this led to the fact that each client began to be considered literally under a magnifying glass, and the number of refusals to open an account increased.
Documents for opening a bank account
To minimize the risk of rejection and open a bank account in Spain, you need to stock up on documents confirming the source of income. Residents of Spain for these purposes use “nominas” (pay slips), employment contracts, tax returns, etc.
Spanish banks require non-residents to submit:
- certificates from work,
- 2-Personal income tax declaration,
- from entrepreneurs – 3-Personal income tax.
It is important to consult with the bank manager in advance and find out the requirements for paperwork. For some banks, a simple translation of documents into Spanish is enough, others may require only a sworn translation, and still, others require a mandatory apostille for all documents. Also, the bank may ask for an extract from an account opened in the country of permanent residence, indicating the movement of funds for the last 6-12 months.
Therefore, if you are planning to buy real estate in Spain, it is better to entrust the opening of a bank account in Spain to a realtor who will accompany you. Entrust this procedure to professionals to save time when looking for a bank that will open an account for a non-resident.
In addition to financial documents, when opening a bank account in Spain, you will need to submit:
- for residents – a TIE resident plastic card;
- for non-residents – a valid passport and an NIE certificate (Foreigner Identification Number);
- for students – a student’s plastic card.
If you want to open a bank account in Spain for the purchase of the real estate, you will be asked for a reserve agreement or a deposit, and after the completion of the transaction – a notarial bill of sale.
Several Spanish banks have the option of opening an account online (this is how, for example, BBVA bank works). A bank account is opened independently through the website, and all the necessary documents are sent to the bank by courier.
There are also several banks in Spain, 99% of which are online. For rare operations requiring the personal presence of clients, single offices in large cities are supported. This is how OpenBank, part of the Santander bank group, works, for example. One significant “but”: such banks work only with residents of Spain and do not accept non-resident foreigners for service.