Finance - Banking

Euros and Banking  © Michelle Chaplow
Banking your Euros in Spain


The number of banks has increased considerably over the last few years. There are two main types of bank in Spain, clearing banks and savings banks. In the latter category Spain has over 80 savings institutions called "cajas", in Spanish, which were originally charitable organisations granting loans for public interest and agricultural policies. They comprise co-operative savings banks whose members are agricultural co-operatives, although they play only a small part in Spain's banking system and hold just a few percent of total bank assets. Savings banks are similar to building societies in Britain and savings and loans in the USA and hold over a third of all deposits.



Banking has become highly automated, and with regard electronic banking Spanish institutions compare favourably with other European countries and their ATMs are among the world's best.

There are around 50 foreign banks in this country and these are well represented in Andalucia. Although there are fewer - with an overall smaller market share - than in most other European countries. These banks are full members of the Spanish clearing and payment system and can provide normal cheque accounts, cash and credit cards, and direct debit/standing order services. Banks located in the major tourist regions generally have at least one English speaking member of staff.

Normal Bank opening hours in Spain are from 8.15 to between 13.30 and 14.30, Monday to Friday. some branches open all day until 17.00 or 18.00 other have an afternoon opening day from 16.15 to 18.30. Some branches open on Saturday morning in the winter from 08.15 or 9.30 until 12.00 or 13.00. Banks are closed on Saturdays in the summer from May to September).

Whether you are in the process of choosing a Spanish bank or "caja", seeking a mortgage or wishing to shed light on such local documents as "pagarés", here you will find the helpful information.

To register a complaint against a bank or other financial entity in Spain, the process is as follows. The first thing you must do is to register a written complaint with the customer service… More →

Foreign currency issues can have a significant impact on the cost of your purchase. In securing property abroad, purchasers are likely to spend more time searching for the right property via their… More →

Looking for financial information dealing with Andalucia? Doing business in Andalucia can be a little intimidating, especially if you are new to the region or… More →

Debt consolidation is often a possible solution for people who find themselves overwhelmed with loan payments that come with a whole range of interest rates and commissions. Debt consolidation is… More →

Standing orders - or an official arrangement whereby your bank automatically pays a given bill each month - are an important form of payment in Spain. Known as "domiciliaciones" or "domiciliación… More →

The number of banks has increased considerably over the last few years. In Spain you will find the two mainstream forms of banking - clearing banks and savings banks… More →

The word "pagaré" in Spanish means literally "I will pay". A Pagarés then, is a type of cheque that emphasises the date that it can be cashed. These then… More →

All Spanish banks provide loans and overdrafts and are quite happy to do so for foreign residents, particularly if they are homeowners. It pays to shop around for a loan as interest rates vary… More →

You can make onshore, Spanish investments via your Spanish bank or by hiring local financial professionals. The Spanish stock market is regulated by this country's CNMV - Comisión… More →

A "letra" is a rather curious document that allows you to write cheques - even substantially large ones - without having an account at any bank. It is similar to a "money order", but requires a… More →

You can open a bank account whether you are a resident or non-resident. It's best to open a Spanish bank account in person, rather than by correspondence from abroad… More →

As an expatriate or tourist you may have brought credit cards with you to Spain and found that you were able to use these cards to withdraw money from Spanish cash… More →

All banks offer customers a combined cash and debit card which are widely used and accepted throughout Spain. Purchases and cash withdrawals are automatically debited… More →

Spanish Banks usually provide a much more personal service than their European Counterparts. Staff changes are not so frequent and it is advantageous to establish a… More →
Banking © Michelle Chaplow
Living in Andalucia