Do I need a Spanish bank account if I buy a property in Tenerife?

If you’re buying a property in Tenerife, you’re definitely going to need a bank account, yes.

The thing is, although the actual buying process has to be followed, but it doesn’t always follow the same order of steps.

What I mean by that is that you might be told that you need to open an account before you sign a contract…that’s not a bad thing and it’s not wrong either but in my opinion, it’s not in the same order that I’d it for example.

I always suggest that if my buyers are able to have enough time off work, that they come over at least one full work day before the actual completion date that’s been agreed by buyers and sellers and on the day beforehand, we’ll organise the NIE with the police station and also open a bank account.

Doing the NIE first makes sense because you’re going to need to show the NIE to the bank in order to open the account.

Each bank has its own criteria required for proof of ID for opening a Spanish bank account.

As an example, I very often use the Deutsche Bank to open an account with my property buyers. The account has few charges and includes internet banking in English as well, so overall, my buyers are happy.

To open an account with them…as it stands today as I write this, you need your NIE number, your passport and your UK National Insurance number – that’s all you need at the moment to actually open an account in Spain with Deutsche Bank.

There are plenty of other banks good enough to use as a current account, which in all honesty is all you’re probably going to use it for at the moment.

If you end up living in Tenerife on a more permanent basis and want a savings account or something like that then you’ll do well to start investigating other banks, types of accounts and the different benefits and charges to make an informed decision for yourself.

Don’t forget that you’ll need a current account for your monthly community fee, your electric and water bills, IBI etc. etc.

Can I open a bank account if I’m not resident in Tenerife?

You don’t have to be a resident in Tenerife to have a bank account, but when you’re opening the account, you should mention that you want a non-resident account.

All Spanish banks have accounts for non-residents and residents and there’ll be a difference in charges and the way the account is run.

A resident’s account may be less costly and more flexible but seriously, as I write this and I mentioned it earlier, Deutsche Bank have a very competitive non-resident bank account at the moment…I know they don’t have branches everywhere, but it might be worth a look.

Money Laundering Laws in Spain

Because you’ll be moving money from another country to Spain, you’ll be checked upon for money laundering.

If you’re a UK citizen, it’s not actually that much of a hoop to jump through and most banks will just want to know from which account your funds are coming from when you’re buying a property.

If you’re bringing over quite a bit of money, then you might need to fill in a form to confirm what its for, but that’s very rare.

Can I open a bank account if I’m not actually in Tenerife?

If you’re not in Tenerife, you’ll more than likely be able to start the process of opening an account but to complete the actual process, you will need to be there in person to sign the paperwork, that’s part of the money laundering laws.

You’ll be able to get the ball rolling by contacting the bank you want to open the account with and let them know what you want, you can even send copies of your passport and NIE, if you’ve got it already, to them to prepare everything, but to finalise the process, as I’ve said above, you’ve got to show up in person.

Can a power of attorney open a bank account for someone else in Tenerife?

If you have a power of attorney in place, they will not be able to open a bank account on your behalf.

If the power of attorney permits, they can deal with your banking afterwards, but to open it, it has to be you in person that signs the paperwork.

If I have Spanish mortgage, do I have to use their bank for my personal bank account as well?

To be honest, getting a mortgage is normally quite difficult if you’re a non-resident in Spain, so complying with all of the banks’s requirements when you’re applying for a mortgage will help your application.

Opening a bank account with the bank that gives you a mortgage will almost certainly be a requirement…and even if it’s not, it’ll certainly give you some brownie points if you do.

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