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Different types of Accounts

A Current account (cuenta corrente) usually carries a very low interest rate, if any. You can ask for a cheque book.

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 NIE number.

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 ones.

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.

The Spanish banks runs a convenient system called
domiciliación that allows companies to directly debit your account for billing purposes.

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.

If you want to make transfers to or from countries outside the EU area, you need to consult you own bank.

Some banks 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 parallel lines.

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.

Bank Statements.
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.

 

 

 

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