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Opening A Bank Account in Gran Canaria

Banking is a complex, and personal issue which can be difficult to address, especially when we start talking about banking in a foreign country. Gran Canaria is governed by thr Spanish banking system, and banking laws. We shall try to simplify this as much as possible for you, and you may need to read other pages within the Living In Gran Section. Such as the page about residency.

Can I Open A Bank, Even If I am Not A Resident Yet?

Yes you can, is the easy answer. If you are not yet proficient in speaking Spanish, we would suggest that you choose a bank that has English speaking staff. A good suggestion would be Banca March, who have been in operation for many years now, and started business with the aim of offering Spanish banking to tourists, and non Spanish residents. To find a bank that has available staff that are able to speak English, you may find it fruitful to begin your search for the right back for you from within the larger tourist areas.

Opening a Non Resident Bank Account.

There are a couple of reasons why you might want to do this. One being that you spend a fair amount of holiday time in Gran Canaria, or indeed Spain, and want to be able to transfer money into your account so that you do not need to use money changing services when you arrive, or indeed to sidestep the need to carry large amounts of currency about with you. If this is your intention, it may be really useful to consider a bank that offers good online banking facilities, and services.

You may want to open your non resident Spanish bank account as we did, because you are planning to move to Spain or Gran Canaria to live. This would be a job well done because it removes one of those important jobs that needs doing when you first arrive. You will be able to operate your non resident account until you deal with your residency (you will need to read the page about your Spanish residency and how to go about it), after which you have to close this account, and open a new resident bank account.

What Documents Do I Need To Open A Non Resident Bank Account?

You need to obtain a non residents certificate from a local Spanish Police station. This is done by turning up in person, and having your passport at the ready with a copy of the original. The copy is very important. If you do not have it to hand you will have to obtain one before the police station will do anything for you. There will be an application form to fill in, so It may be necessary for you to take a Spanish speaking person with you, as the police station will not assist you in English. Then all you need to is choose your bank, have with you the non residents certificate, and your passport. You should now be able to obtain your Non Resident bank account without any further problems, and begin banking.

Opening A Residents Bank Account.

If it is your intention to Live In Spain or Gran Canaria for longer than 3 months then you must by law register as a resident with your town hall (see the related page on residency). Everything is pretty much the same as for opening a non resident bank account except, well, the documentation you need is slightly different. Recently Europe decided, it was against our rights as UK nationals to issue us with a residency card. Now we have to accept a residency certificate, which carries all the same information but does not now have your photograph. This means it cannot be used as proof of Identification, in the same way that the resideny card used to. To open a residents bank account, you need the certificate of residency, which is also issued by the police station (see the page on residency), A copy of your passport, and your original passport. Proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental contract. Some information online will tell you, you need your NIE identification number. Relax, your certificate of residency will have that, and other information that the bank needs to to open your residents bank account.

What Banks Can I choose From?

That should be enough choice for you to be going on with. Remember to take into account which bank has a branch nearest to you, and which network operates your nearest ATM. There is more than network available, and charges can get extreme if you are not using an ATM on the same network as your chosen bank. These should be factors in choosing where you are going to open your bank account.

If you think we have missed some information from this page, and you would like us to consider updating any of the information. Use the Email information on the Contact Us page, we will then take into consideration what you are asking, and after research, if we feel it is applicable, we will update the information at the earliest opportunity.