Opening a Spanish Bank Account
Opening an Account
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. You must be aged 18 and provide proof of identity, such as a passport, your address in Spain and your NIE. If you wish to open an account with a Spanish bank while you're abroad, you must first obtain an application form, available from foreign branches of Spanish banks or direct from Spanish banks in Spain. It is possible for non-residents to survive without a Spanish bank account by using cash and credit cards, eurocheques and traveller's cheques. However, this is an expensive and inconvenient option, mainly because you will need a bank account to pay utility and tax bills, which are best settled via direct debit.
Checking accounts are provided by all Spanish banks however, overall, cheques are not used as payment. All cheques, including post-dated cheques are payable on presentation and cheques are valid for six months from their date. If you write a cheque without sufficient funds in your account, your bank must pay out whatever is in your account as part payment, although in practice it doesn't always happen this way. It is illegal to overdraw a bank account in Spain without prior agreement and doing so can lead to many problems.
It's possible to open a savings account with any clearing or savings banks in Spain. There are varying interest rates, minimum deposits and withdrawal restrictions, depending on the type of account and the bank. For short-term savings and small amounts, it's best to open a savings account where funds are on call and withdrawals can be made at any time. Interest is generally paid twice a year. However, for residents, the interest earned on bank accounts and deposits is subject to a 25 percent withholding tax at source on account of personal income tax.