One of the most important points when buying a property in Spain is to open a bank account in Spain. Is this obligatory?.
Before or later, is necessary to open a bank account in Spain if you decided to purchase a Spanish property. It will help you to pay and settle payments for utilities, local taxes, expenses, etc.
But, after the approval of determinate regulations on money laundering in Spain, whcih forces to buyers to pass the filer of the money laundering system. This system requies you to justify the origin of the funds to confirm that they are not proceeding from illegal sources, or from tax evasion. So, if you transfer the necessary funds to your Spanish bank account, your Spanish bank will then pass the filter of the money laundering, and they will instruct you to provide the proper documentation to proceed.
So, it is more than recommendable to open a bank account in Spain in the earliest steps of the purchase process. In fact, this is one of the actions that we recommend to all our clients, in fhe first prospection trip to visit propeties for buying in Spain.
Thus, if you are thinking to make a trip to Spain to buy properties, it will be a good idea to to get time to open a bank account in Spain.
The essential point on this is that, at the end of the purchase process, the final payment to be paid to the vendor must come from your bank account in Spain already opened on your name. In the past, lawyers we could receive the funds from our clients in our client’s bank account in Spain in order to pay the price to the vendors. But, due to recent normative of money laundering, this is not a recommended way. So, Spanish lawyers, although we are in the position to deal with partial payments like deposits, reservations, etc, receiving them into our client’s bank account, it is not recommendable to deal in this way for final payments into our client’s bank account, as the best way is to pay from Buyer’s Spanish bank account to Vendor’s Spanish bank account. And this is usullay done by Bankker’s draft (“Cheque Bancario“) at the end of the process (on completion of the sale).
Spanish laws require buyers to open a bank account in one of the Spanish banks, and transfer the funds there to pay to the vendor directly from the Spanish bank account. Then the bank passes the filter of these funds from money laundering. It is possible to pay directly from your origin bank account to the vendor, but this will not pass the filter of the money laundering, and then, the transaction may be inspected during 10 years from the Spanish money laundering Dpt. This is why we suggest always to our clients to open a bank account in the earliest steps of the process, and then send the funds from UK to this bank account in Spain, and then paying to the vendor directly from the Spanish bank account.
I am now in Spain , what I need to open a bank account in one of the Spanish banks?
Just your original passport. So, if you just visit one the Spanish branches and ask them to proceed to open a bank account, they will do it straight away just with your original passport or identity card.
Do I need the NIE to open a bank account?
In order to start the process to open the bank account you NIE number will not be requested. It will be requested in further steps of the process, but not to start the process. Just your original passport or Identity Card.
I am out Spain and would like to open a bank account, how can I do it?
To open the bank account, the process can be started even if you are out of Spain . So, you should contact one of the Spanish banks to inform them that you wish to open a bank account, but you are not currently in Spain. Usually the bank start the process of opening the bank account on your name, and the account is operative, and can then receive funds from you. Then, you should be transferring funds from your country to this bank account, the bank then passes the filter for money laundering, and the process is complete when you come so Spain to make physical presence in the branch of the bank, or in any of the authorized branches in the area. Please, note that the personal visit to the bank is compulsory and obligatory to complete the opening process of the bank account. The bank needs to get your original signature and to formally identify you in person at least once. And then, once this is done, the account will be operative.
So, we suggest the following:
– Contact a Spanish bank in order to start the process to open the bank account
– Start the process to open the bank account
– Start to transfer funds from your country to this new bank account
– Try to come to Spain at least 2 days before completion in order to, first thing, go to your bank and complete the bank account’s opening process, and to arrange the final payments for completion.