Opening a bank account in Marbella

Editorial Lifestyle

Expat Guide

If you are purchasing a property or coming to live in Marbella, you will need to open a Spanish bank account.

For foreigners opening a bank account in Marbella, there is a choice between a resident and non-residents bank account, depending on whether you live in Marbella of not. Typically bank accounts for non-residents will be basic and have higher charges, and those for residents will offer a wider range of options and will usually have lower charges or may even be free.

If you are living and working in Marbella, making and receiving payments will be easier once you open a Spanish bank account.  All banks require appointments to be made to open an account so once you have decided which bank you wish to work with you will need to call to make an appointment.  Timings are limited.

Popular High Street Banks in Spain include:
Banco Sabadell
La Caixa

Banks in Marbella

These are into two types: Cajas and Bancos. Cajas are like UK building societies and more localised. Bancos, like most banks in other countries, are privately owned or public limited companies and are more likely to be national chains. 

Opening a bank account in Marbella as a non-resident

Many banks in Marbella will let you set up an account in advance of your move. If you’re buying a property your lawyer will likely get an account opened for you using power of attorney. Most of the larger banks in Marbella are geared up to cater for foreigners, and it's quite easy to open a non-resident account in person. You’ll need your passport, NIE, proof of your home address, details of your address in Marbella, and you TIN (tax ID number), e.g. UK national insurance number.

Opening a bank account in Marbella as a resident

Bank accounts for residents in Marbella offer a full range of banking services and facilities, and many offer fee-free banking. You need to be registered as a resident in Marbella, i.e. have a residency certificate or residents ID card to open a resident bank account.

Documents for opening a bank account as a resident.
You will typically need to provide the following:
  • Proof of identity (e.g. passport)
  • NIE (residency certificate, foreigners ID card (TIE)
  • Proof of address (padron, property deeds)
In all cases when opening a bank account in Marbella, you have to confirm the source of any money that will be going into the account.

Making Payments Using a Bank Account in Marbella

Marbella is chip and pin-ready, and contactless payment is steadily growing. However many smaller businesses still don’t take cards at all in Spain – so it’s always useful to make sure you’ve got some cash on you if you’re out and about, or know where your nearest ATM can be found.

Most banks have a decent online banking system which you can use to check your statements and make payment nationally and internationally. If you’re making or receiving payments from your account in Marbella to or from an account elsewhere, it may result in a fee from both banks. Spanish banks usually charge fees for outgoing international payments and may also charge for receiving funds. It’s always worthwhile checking your bank's fixed-rate (often not published on their website) as it may well be cheaper to use a currency exchange / transfer company to move your money around such as Transferwise.

This article has been curated together with Overseas Lifestyle Services who can offer personal assistance with starting your life in Spain.