A fixed deposit account (cuenta
de imposicion a plazo) will give you interest depending on the time
period of the deposit and the amount deposited. Banks CAN be
bargained with about these conditions.
A Savings book account (
libreta de ahorro ) also carries a low interest rate , but does give
you a continuous record of your account and in some cases ca be used
in cash machines for withdrawing money.
If you want to open a bank account on Gran Canaria,
you will only need your passport or residence permit, and will be
asked to fill out a form from the bank which will also set out the
banks general terms and conditions. You will also be asked for your
If you are not a resident, you will
have to submit, apart from the documents proving your identity, a
certificate of non-resident issued by a Police Station.
For the rest of the foreigners residents on Gran Canaria,
there is no restriction regarding the opening of bank accounts.
Remember, anyway, that most banks provides their customers with a
card that allows them to obtain cash, 24 hours a day, in the
automatic cashiers network, spread all around the national territory.
Fiscal residents on Gran Canaria
can open a current and savings account for residents. Non-residents
can only open current and savings account for non- residents.
Please note that it is in your own interest as far as the banking
system goes, to become a resident as soon as possible concerning tax
liabilities, charges & interest go.
Commissions and services
vary greatly among the banks, so compare several, and make a decision
based on your needs. As often on Gran Canaria,
and everywhere else, a personal relationship at a bank is really helpful for sorting out
problems, if you need to get anything non-standard done.
Ask friends, colleagues or teachers if they can introduce you to a
director or sub-director of a local branch. If you have an
opportunity take advantage of it.
Fees & services
In terms of fees and
services, non-resident accounts are virtually the same as resident
The only differences being, that the bank may not be willing to
issue you a credit card or provide you overdraft protection. Should
the bank charge significantly higher fees for being a non-resident,
we would recommend taking your business elsewhere.
One final word of caution
regarding opening accounts: if you make the initial deposit in a
foreign currency, be sure to specifically ask that the currency be
converted into euros immediately (we have heard of cases where this
became a problem later).
The bank should charge you no more than
their typical foreign exchange commissions for this operation.
banks runs a convenient system called
that allows companies to directly debit your account for billing
Phone and utility companies are big users of this system;
many of them actually require you to pay in this manner.
In case you choose not to pay your bills through this route, you will have to go
to a bank anyway to pay it person (not necessarily your bank either).
The hours for making these payments are fairly restricted, usually
between 8:30 and 10:30 and sometimes only on certain days of the
week (one example is Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
The bank is obliged to
retain 18% of the interest you earn but not on a fixed deposit by a
non- resident. The bank should also
prepare a statement giving your average balance for the year to be
used in your wealth tax return.
Transfer of Funds.
There are now no restrictions on transferring funds to and from
Spain from other countries of the European Union and the ESS.
However if you want to take out more
than 13,353 euros from Spain to another country , or move more than
80,000 euros within Spain, you are obliged to communicate it with
the authorities, which the bank will also advise you on.
want to make transfers to or from countries outside the EU area, you
need to consult you own bank.
are still charging heavy commissions on transfers of pensions from
abroad while other banks do not so it is advisable to “shop” around.
The EU has decided to eliminate the commissions when using cash
machines outside your own country, but inside the EU area……At last!
The Cheque on Gran Canaria.
Write cheques only in ball point pen or ink. Write (or accept) a
cheque to the person or business that is to receive payment and not
to the bearer (al portador).
To ensure that a cheque can only be
deposited into the account of the person or business to whom it is
made, write to be credited to the account of ( a abonar en cuenta )
before the name of the recipient, or cross the cheque with two
Do not leave blank spaces, which could be used to
increase the amount. Keep blank cheques, destroy excess cheques, and
never leave a blank signed cheque for anyone. Writing a cheque
without funds in the bank is illegal.
Most banks are willing to send your statements to any address you
want whether on Gran Canaria
or your home country.
The identifying number is the same as on your
cheques with the first four digits giving the banks number , the
next four the branch number then two control numbers and the last
ten your own account number.
It is recommended you use this whole
number to avoid any confusion.