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The Curmudgeon

The curmudgeon is a miserable sod. He likes to have a moan. He tackles subjects which many foreigners living in Spain agree with but are too polite to say anything.

Spanish Banks – What EyeOnSpain readers think .....
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 @ 1:27 PM

In October 2023, frustrated by the poor service offered by a number of Spanish banks, The Curmudgeon wrote an article complaining about the Spanish banks he has used over a period of some 50 years. [See link below]. 

It provoked a strong reaction.

Most commentators seemed to agree with our grump. Here is what they wrote:


Graham Keen said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"I bought a property in 2001 and was with Bankinter for over 20 years. Absolutely shocking service and you need to book a day off if you need any sort of consultation.

"Their couldn’t care less attitude is staggering and any trip to the bank is stressful beyond belief. Just to be able to speak to a cashier was usually an hour of a job at least and it had got significantly worse over the years especially after Brexit.

"I was paying €250 per year just for having an account!

"I closed my account in 2022 after transferring all my Direct Debits to Wise and now have a Belgian IBAN.

"I have no bank charges whatsoever now and it’s the best thing I ever did!!


Pamela Jakeway said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"What total nonsense, I’ve been with Unicaja Bank for 10 years in Alcala La Real and there’s no finer banking service than this branch. My bank manager Isidro always goes above and beyond his duties."


grapow said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"Our banking experience and indeed with Bankinter in Dénia couldnt be more different , we are now in our 24th year with them. Excellent service, rarely a queue of more than 2 people and by keeping a modest investment with them we remain chargeless."


macsco said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"Also been on the merry-go-round of Spanish banks.

"Started with Santander, agreed a mortgage in 1999, they pulled the offer within a week of the completion, so switched to Banco de Andalucia. They imploded and I was with Banco Popular. Fees arrived so moved to Bankinter.

"After a few years Bankinter fees arrived, so left them for N26.

"No issues no fees but no physical banks, and I also have a UK Starling account ££&€€ and can happily transfer between the two fee-free."


roberto123 said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"I was with Caixa years ago they were OK even though I had to pay but their service went downhill. Could never get any sense out of them. Compared to UK banks they are terrible."


Alex said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"We are absolutely fine with Unicaja online bank (cuenta online SIN), sin standing for no costs whatsoever. However, I am not British but of EU nationality and within the EU/euro system. No hassle there.

"When I opened my account online, there was some trouble with the recognition of my passport and tarjeta verde. I went to the local bank in the village here and was excellently helped by the man there. No queues, no fees and very friendly people (it is a 2-person subsidiary). Normally you can't go to a bank counter with this online bank account, but the man was absolutely dedicated to help me. Then I wanted to convert the account to an account on 2 names (husband and I), again, no problem, we handed in all requested documents and yes, we have a joint account now which works fine, no fees whatsover if you use the standard transferring and ATM banking facilities. Moreover, they are in the 6000 RED, so you can use many ATMs from many banks in this network for free.

"As far as I know they are the only bank that is totally free of charges for everyday banking. I transfer from other EU euro accounts for free, and within seconds the amounts are visible in the other banks and v.v. I use Bizum too with this account.

"I had tried to open an EVO account (also totally free) before, but the identification process was a disaster and they only have an online help desk which is worthless and that provides NO service at all, only obstructions (they asked me for a tarjeta verde with photo, which does not exist in Spain for EU citizens!) So better stay away from these rigid only online banks that are not there for you but only for their own profits. All other online banks charge you fees for daily use, so be warned."


Simon said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"LaCaixa was excellent until my manager changed his job. Utterly appalling now. I have a leak and made a claim on the LaCaixa insurance, Adeslas. Five months later still not fixed even though issue identified in the first week. They outsource to Homeserve who ignore what the plumbers tell them. At one branch the person controlling entry was being rude to everyone and lied to me when I asked for Hojas de Reclamación saying they didn't exist. It is a legal requirement to be provided if asked for. Director level in LaCaixa couldn't care less when notified."


DJF42 said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"It goes to show as in many businesses, it is the employees that make the reputation of the business and has been demonstrated in the comments.

"Having a good responsible manager and staff makes all the difference."


oldjonesey said:
Saturday, October 21, 2023 

"I can totally relate to the author's banking issues. Having been with Caixa for several years whenever I visit the branch there is invariably an argument going on with one or more irate customers. They are more interested in trying to sell you various insurance products instead of offering a banking facility and although my account effectively runs itself they rake off hefty charges every quarter. I did try N26 but this also proved problematic but I may give them a second chance having listened to others who use them. At least this would avoid the in branch confrontations!"





Carey Michael said:
Sunday, October 22, 2023 

"I am banking with Sabadell. Their service is non-existent. They disconnected my online account due to clerk error. I could not access it. They refused to reactivate unless I visited the bank in person.

"I arranged flights to specially visit the bank. Arrived at the bank within opening hours to find that the bank will not see clients without an appointment. Nearest date was a week away.

"There is no customer service and staff are quite arrogant."





The Curmudgeon says: "I rest my case."

He adds: "I still have a bank account in the UK, with Santander UK, cousin of Banco Santander. Their Customer Care is outstanding, as it always was when it was Alliance & Leicester. Staff are polite and helpful and they are available 24/7.

"Unlike in Spain, where Atencion al Cliente is only on dias laborables from 9.30 to 5.30. Shocking!"










© The Curmudgeon


See also:

You can no longer bank on your bank! (



6000 RED, Adeslas, Alliance & Leicester, banco, Banco de Andalucia, Banco Popular, Banco Santander, bancSabadell, bank, Bankinter, Bizum, Caixa, EVO, Homeserve, LaCaixa, N26, Sabadell, Santander UK, Unicaja, Wise  

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