Spanish Banking – We feel your pain

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Banks, are they a necessary evil or just one of those things we have to put up with like Death, Taxes and Facebook!  However you feel about them, if you have had an account in Spain, chances are that your feelings swiftly started either turning bad or got worse!

Many people I have come in contact with still have the image in their mind of Spanish Banking being routed in the 70’s.  While they no longer smoke at the desk while talking to you, many people have felt the pain of queuing in a bank only for the cashier to decide that is the time to down tools and go for their morning coffee!

However, being from another country, once you get over the initial culture shock, you may find that you do in fact need a bank account in Spain.  For many people, there will be rent payments, utilities expenses, having a pension changed to this country, changing money after or before a trip, savings and investments.  Where do you start looking for a bank?  In this day and age, the first place seems to be social media or word of mouth.  Start a thread and see how many people will add their 2 pennies worth of advice (better than the bank having it no?) but many people, while knowing exactly their situation, won’t know yours.

If you are looking at moving to Spain, buying or renting a property, changing your pension payments to an overseas account, setting up Direct Debits etc.  Do you know what the bank will want from you in return?  Are you willing to settle for the first bank you come across?  A bit of searching and talking to people who know will allow you to see what bank will charge you, how to avoid their charges and what tricks not to fall for.  We have seen all too often life savings been wasted away in Bank Shares or locked away for long term investments because it was what the bank wanted at the time, not the customer.

Forewarned is forearmed so if you are looking at opening an account and are not sure which bank to go for, call people who know, ask the questions, explain what you want the account for and we can help you find the right bank for you.

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

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