14 Responses to “The bank account for expats moving to Spain”

  1. Jirogers June 2, 2012 at 22:41 #

    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.

    • Pierre-Alban Waters November 5, 2012 at 11:40 #

      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 !

  2. gaby October 28, 2012 at 10:32 #

    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.

    • Pierre-Alban Waters November 5, 2012 at 11:45 #

      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 !

  3. Pepe Seymour January 26, 2013 at 11:13 #

    Why should there be special treatment for bank customers moving to a specific region?

    • Pierre Waters January 26, 2013 at 19:17 #

      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,

  4. Michael September 26, 2013 at 22:17 #

    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.

    • Pierre Waters September 27, 2013 at 10:30 #

      Hi Michael,

      Yes, it is the best option I have found for our clients.

      Yes, there are fees for transfers from another currency, as always, but this is defined by the bank sending the money.

      All the best

      • Liam October 8, 2013 at 17:55 #

        Hi Pierre

        I am a New Zealander who has just arrived in Spain. I assume I can send money from ING back home and vice versa as required? Do you know what fees are charged?

        Thank you, Liam

  5. Melissa Deal September 14, 2014 at 14:34 #

    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!

    • Pierre-Alban Waters September 16, 2014 at 11:45 #

      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.


  6. Pierre-Alban Waters July 24, 2014 at 00:58 #

    Yes, Marie Helene left, and her assistant Silvia has now been promoted

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