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Banks

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 department (servicio al cliente) of the institution in question. Be sure that you leave one copy with the company and have another stamped with the date received. In the case that your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you will need this documentation later.

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 even new to Spain. Many of the laws are as different as the culture so it is always refreshing to know that you can find trusted information all in one place.

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, are official post-dated cheques.

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 considerably depending on the bank, the amount and the period of time.

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 bit more effort on your part in order to put it into circulation.

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.

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 machines without a problem. You should be aware, however, that hidden commissions can be involved in these transactions.

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 from your cheque or savings account. You don't receive a monthly statement and can't run up bills with a cash or debit card.

Banks traditionally offer the least risk to an investor, but are often not competitive when compared to other major lending institutions, such as building societies. This is due to the fact that although banks may lend some of their deposits, the excess is normally placed on the international money markets.

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 personal relationship with the staff and the manager who are often prepared to spend extra time helping their clients.