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.
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