21 responses to “The bank account for expats moving to Madrid”

  • Agree on the Banco Sabadell- Marie-Hélène in the main branch at Miguel Ángel 23 is a great French/English speaking contact. The Caixa isn’t bad either- they have lots of small branches (at the moment!) with mostly young staff who probably speak English.
    Both banks (as far as I know) are pretty sound- good if you think about the crisis.

    • Totally agree ! Caixa is not bad in terms of serivce, but the top 3 banks are clearly (according to global ratings and rankings) Santander, Sabadell and BBVA. Caixa is going through some debt issues. But good service indeed !

  • I had very negative experiences with this bank. It took them three months to give send me my debit card, they subscribed me to a credit without my acknowledgment. Whenever I went to the bank they were very incompetent and rude. Oh and most of the branches are closed during the summer.

    I’m moving to ING, they have been efficient and helpful.

    • ING is a very good bank, and very interesting if you have a Spanish salary, a NIE and speak Spanish. It’s in fact one of my 3 banks, with Sabadell and Evo.
      And as always, bad experiences can happen. What I’m sure of is this: please contact Marie-Hélène RoucouMarieHelene@sabadellsolbank.com and tell her everything that went badly. She will try to make it up to you, she has an amazing sense of customer service, speaks 3 languages, and keeps me always in the loop. ING is very efficient via email, but a bit dodgy for speaking English and being personal – no dedicated agent.
      Hope you find solutions to your banking needs !

    • Hi Pepe,

      I specify Madrid because customer servie differs a lot from branch to branch ! Therefore I recommend one specific branch in Madrid, where I know a specific person, Marie-Hélène, has the level of customer service I have with my clients.

      And that’s very rare, and the only one I know in Madrid !

      Then the bank is indeed the same all around Spain, apart from the specific deal I have got from them for the people I recommend to this branch. So all of this makes it quite location-specific !

      If you have any question, just tell me !
      All the best,

  • Sounds like a good option.

    So, there are no fees for transfers from the UK? It just mentions no fees on Euros transferred on their website.

  • Just thought I would offer some recent experience of this; I went to Sabadell on this recommendation, and just be careful are there are “hidden” fees they don’t tell you about until you’re signing! This account is a non-resident account, which is great, you think, as you can open it whilst you are dong the rest of the essential tasks in order to get your official residency… BUT… if you don’t change to a resident account asap they charge 26euros (not sure if this is a month or a quarter, but still!) – they won’t accept padron, NIE, etc, it must be the official residencia, which is a pain to get a suitable appointment for, and apparently you also cannot guarantee how quickly the card or cert arrives in the post, so essentially, Sabadell will charge you!

    This is NOT made clear at the outset.

    I have also found the communication poor, it took me numerous emails to Silvia to get her to answer a simple question, and I opened the account weeks ago, but haven’t heard a thing regarding when our debit cards will arrive.

    Subsequently, I’ve not got much faith in them now and haven’t deposited any funds yet as I am now looking at other banks as I’m overly frustrated by Sabadell & Silvia’s poor service, and will probably close the account down before I’ve even got close to using it.

    I’ve heard of someone having a positive experience with the Colon branch of Sabadell, but have to say the one advertised here has been far from this, so just be aware things aren’t necessarily as they are portrayed!

    • Hi Melissa,
      Yes, we agree that Sabadell’s service quality has been going down.
      Therefore, we still recommend them as the easiest account to open when just landed, but recommend ING or EVO for banking further down the road.
      One thing: the 26 € fee each term is not from the bank, but a tax from Spain for all non-resident bank account.
      We are in the process of finding another bank who gives our clients and readers the same special treatment as before. We will update the article as soon as ur negotiations are fruitful.


  • We can now say that the Miguel Angel Sabadell branch with Silvia is back to giving top notch service. They have requested personally a meeting and committed to answer all requests comming through our recommendation to be responded within 48h.

    We have been monitoring service in the last months, and we can say it has been top quality. Myself and my team have accounts for personal and business use at Sabadell, and can also personally vouch for their quality.

    Again, the uniqueness of this bank branch is that they enable us to open the account before you even arrive in Spain, and we can directly request top quality personal service.

    Do post comments if any of you see any change, good or bad, at the Miguel Angel branch !


  • Hey Pierre, i see you mentioned EVO. I like EVO because of the transparency, i know that with their debit card i will not be charged for extracting money in any ATM in Spain (or in the world).

    I tried to find the same informations on Sabadell site and got frustrated.

    Do you know where can i find those informations on sabadell’s site?


    • Dear Marzio,
      First of all thank you for your question and Merry Christmas!!!
      EVO has this special feature because it was funded in 2012 by NCG group as a young bank with a strong online presence. So their focus was not to open many branches like traditional banks. Sabadell uses the Servired network, so you can withdraw cash from any Servired ATM point with no extra charge(50% of the total, Telebanco is the other network where 50% of the remaining banks apply). For any further questions you can call Sabadell at 902 343 999 (also in english) or ask our Sabadell contact, Silvia SREGUEIRA@sabadellatlantico.com

  • We have bought a house for holidays in the Granada area and need a bank account, we have NIE certificates. Would this account be suitable and is the 26 Euros a yearly charge.
    Thanks Steve

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