Best bank for expats

Post reply   Start new thread
:: New - Old :: Old - New

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next |

Forum home :: Latest threads :: Search forums
The Comments
17 Nov 2006 00:00 by barbarah Star rating in Surrey and Alicante. 15 posts Send private message

barbarah´s avatar
We need to open an account in Spain shortly.  I'm wondering which bank is best to use as our Spanish is rather limited?  We would ideally like to have online banking in English.  Is there a bank that really caters for expats?  Thanks.

_______________________
Happily living in Spain



Like 0      
17 Nov 2006 11:25 by jfj Star rating in Vera, Almería. 142 posts Send private message

jfj´s avatar
Caja Granada apparently offer online banking in English. I have no personal experience with this bank, so I can't give any recommendations.

jfj



Like 0      
17 Nov 2006 12:12 by judithnicklin Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

we have had accounts with two banks in Spain both of which offer on-line banking in English - Banca March and Unicaja.  Banca March also have a London branch and you can transfer funds between the two - England and Spain - free of charge.

_______________________
Jaylou



Like 0      
17 Nov 2006 12:14 by sping Star rating in Stockport & Playa Go.... 146 posts Send private message

sping´s avatar

If this helps you!

We went into our local branch of The Halifax and opened two accounts, one in the UK and the other in Spain. We can do all our banking over the phone or internet and transfer money with no charge. (Please note that for large amounts you will always be better off using a big currency firm like Travelex or similar as the rates are more in line with the business rate). We got a cheque book and a bank card so that we can pay with either and use the cash machines. It is also helpful to be able to speak to someone in English as my Spanish is still only holiday Spanish.

Hope this helps, Sping…




Like 0      
17 Nov 2006 13:34 by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2488 posts Send private message

Smiley´s avatar

Halifax generally are pretty good - although they do not appear to have adopted the same charging structures as some of the native Spanish banks and in some cases their charges CAN be worse. If one is taking a mortgage out with a Spanish bank invariably they will insist on your having a current account with them anyway so you might find that you are getting hit with charges from a bank just for having a current account with them that is not used. A long time since I checked and I forget the exact figure with Halifax but think you have to maintain a minimum balance of 600€ at all times to have "Free Banking". "Free Banking" means no charge just for having the account - for things such as transfers to other accounts and direct debits etc there will be commissions to pay. Personal experience leads me to believe Solbank and Barclays are not the best in the world on charging policies but again this might be out of date. Most of the banks in the more developed areas have an English speaking member of staff although staff at Halifax have to have English as a second (or in some cases first) language to a good level. Their telephone call centre for phone banking can be a little hit or miss so if you do open there try to get a direct number to the branch and develop a rapport with a member of staff if not branch director. They tend to try and protect direct telephone numbers with their lives but it is much more straightforward than going through the international division call centre. Most of the National banks also have internet banking and generally have an option to convert to view in English. They all have cheque book and debit card facilities although personal cheques are almost redundant in Spain - no cheque guarantee card so they are treated with mistrust and will want to wait until cleared before giving you the goods. Most companies will expect to be paid by cash, transfer or debit card. If using credit or debit card you will be expected to provide photo id such as driving licence or passport. It is illegal in Spain not to carry photo id as is driving without an international or the new UK photo driving licence - passports can be a bind - recommend copying and shrinking the important page of your passport to credit card size and having it laminated. Shops etc generally accept it although banks sometimes not.   

Rgds


_______________________

Smiley - patrick@marbellamortgages.com  www.marbellamortgages.com   www.comparetravelcash.co.uk




Like 0      
18 Nov 2006 07:36 by barbarah Star rating in Surrey and Alicante. 15 posts Send private message

barbarah´s avatar

Thanks for the replies everyone.  There seems to be a bit of a choice really.

We have been told that Solbank is a good bank for expats and they have branches all over the place.  Smiley, do you know how many branches Halifax have in Spain?  I can't imagine it's many.


_______________________
Happily living in Spain



Like 0      
18 Nov 2006 07:41 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4017 posts Send private message

EOS Team´s avatar
That's a good point Smiley about shrinking and laminating a copy of the important page of your passpost for ID.  My wife used to carry her passport around everwhere until she had her handbag pinched in McDonalds in Puerto Banus one afternoon.  The passpost was in the bag.

So now she just carries a copy of the passport instead and most places accept it apart from banks and the Al Campo supermarket in La Cañada in Marbella.

Definitely a good idea to carry the copy if you don't have a photocard driving licence for ID purposes.

_______________________

Schools in Spain Guide | The Expat Files | Learn Spanish | Earn a living in Spain




Like 0      
18 Nov 2006 11:16 by rayleer Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

We have bank accounts with several banks in Spain. In my experience the best service has been with Solbank. Very friendly and helpful staff at our branch in Calahonda. I recently opened a 3 month Stirling account with them and was able to write pay in a RBOS stirling cheque for a substantial sum with no charges deducted. Interest being paid at 8%.

La Caixa - I have found them inefficient and very difficult to deal with by phone.

Halifax - Helpful in both the Fuengirola Branch and also their Online service. Although I did have quite a few problems getting the online banking set up to accept my Username and password. Just unlucky I think!

My daughter has an account with BBK, who do at least send her statements, which is more than I get from La Caixa.

 

 


_______________________
Ray



Like 0      
18 Nov 2006 23:19 by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2488 posts Send private message

Smiley´s avatar

Hi Barbara that is probably one of Halifax's weak points is the number of branches but with on line banking to be honest it is not a huge issue. Once they have a signature card on file they will accept faxed instructions. You can withdraw cash free of charges at any ATM displaying the Servired sign. I was at a meeting with their MD and Head of European Operations in May and they are on an expansion prgramme. Anticpate opening another 20 to 30 branches over the next two years. Whether there is one near you I dont know as you dont say where your home is.

Rgds


_______________________

Smiley - patrick@marbellamortgages.com  www.marbellamortgages.com   www.comparetravelcash.co.uk




Like 0      
18 Nov 2006 23:27 by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2488 posts Send private message

Smiley´s avatar

The trouble and strife must have been unlucky at Al Campo Justin. Have used my little laminate there several times. I have to say though what do you expect if you will go to the Golden Arches in Banus. We used to have an office over the road and every time I walked past it was like a scrum in there - Burger King down the road always seemed to be a lot more civilised (not that I ate there I have to say - well maybe once or twice). Hope you're having a great weekend. This sad old git is checking out the threads at 12.30 on a Saturday night .....................GET A LIFE!


_______________________

Smiley - patrick@marbellamortgages.com  www.marbellamortgages.com   www.comparetravelcash.co.uk




Like 0      
01 Dec 2006 13:24 by JeansSis Star rating. 2377 posts Send private message

JeansSis´s avatar


This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/17/2007.



Like 0      
01 Dec 2006 13:34 by JeansSis Star rating. 2377 posts Send private message

JeansSis´s avatar


This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/17/2007.



Like 0      
27 Jan 2007 08:54 by johnone Star rating in La Reserva de Marbel.... 233 posts Send private message

johnone´s avatar

I have been with Solbank at La Cala Mijas for four years. I consider it the best service  I have ever had from a Bank, Including  UK

They are very helpful and professional. Their online banking is Great too. They can offer 30 year mortgages to the right customers

I would highly recomend them to anyone.

Johnone


_______________________

Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.




Like 0      
27 Jan 2007 12:57 by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2488 posts Send private message

Smiley´s avatar

You may be right John but their mortgages are based on purchase price not value - many lenders go to 30 years now and some to 40 if necessary. They are also less flexible about paying loans back early and offering flexibility. Regarding the service you get it is very much dependant on the way that the branch is run - i.e. the manager. Have had accounts with three different branches of Solbank and two of them a complete nightmare but the third is excellent.


_______________________

Smiley - patrick@marbellamortgages.com  www.marbellamortgages.com   www.comparetravelcash.co.uk




Like 0      
03 Feb 2007 16:54 by JeansSis Star rating. 2377 posts Send private message

JeansSis´s avatar



This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/17/2007.




Like 0      
10 Feb 2007 12:37 by camelia43 Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

I bank with Bancaja in Benahavis. It's great. No charges at all when I receive money or when I send money.Neither if my account will be overdrawn. They just call or email to send money.

They have on-line banking where all the charges cshow the invoice as well.Eva, the manager is very helpful all the time. Also the staff:Ana.

Camelia



This message was last edited by camelia43 on 2/10/2007.



Like 0      
04 Mar 2007 22:46 by alanwspencer Star rating in Hertfordshire/Duques.... 340 posts Send private message

alanwspencer´s avatar

Can anyone recommend a bank with online facilities in the Duquesa/Sabanillas area? It appears reading the posts here that a good bank is dependant on the branch/staff rather than company policy!

Alan


_______________________
To Dare Is To Do



Like 0      
05 Mar 2007 09:58 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4017 posts Send private message

EOS Team´s avatar

Alan, here is my take on the banks in the area:

CajaMar - This is my main one.  Not busy at all, really friendly people there, always remember you and online facility is decent enough.  Definitely recommend them.

La Caixa- VERY busy all the time although online facility is ok.  Too busy for my liking.

Unicaja - Branch in Sabi is VERY busy but there is an "International" branch near Mercadona which is for expats.  Much quieter and they speak English there.  Online facility decent enough.

Banca Santander - Recently opened, seems quiet enough (not too many queues) but don't know about their online facility.

Can't comment on any others.

My favourite is CajaMar as they are a really friendly and jokey bunch in there.

Justin



This message was last edited by EOS Team on 3/5/2007.

_______________________

Schools in Spain Guide | The Expat Files | Learn Spanish | Earn a living in Spain




Like 0      
05 Mar 2007 10:10 by noelandwilma Star rating in Loughborough/Porto F.... 86 posts Send private message

If at first you don't succeed.......................

Got there in the end Justin



Like 0      
05 Mar 2007 17:43 by alanwspencer Star rating in Hertfordshire/Duques.... 340 posts Send private message

alanwspencer´s avatar

Many thanks for the info Justin. Do they speak English at Cajamar? My Spanish isn't quite up to scratch yet and would not like to make a stupid mistake with regard to my account!

Alan


_______________________
To Dare Is To Do



Like 0      

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next |

Post reply    Start new thread


Previous Threads

Don't pay for your bank guarantee - 14 posts
villa required 27th feb to 4th march in murcia region - 2 posts
Property prices in inland Murcia - 3 posts
Property prices in inland Murcia - 0 posts
Do you like the new logo? - 20 posts
Accountants - 0 posts
Flights to and from GLASGOW - 0 posts
ADVICE - 2 posts
Finca parcs development - 0 posts
Deposit - 4 posts
Community Minutes - 0 posts
Administrators - 34 posts
cost of living? - 1 posts
Lifts - 0 posts
Gogo Estates, Aguilas - 30 posts
thinking of buying in porto fino - 1 posts
Neuvo Vera Apartment - 1 posts
jimena latest - 9 posts
Property Management - 0 posts
any information on building progress on torre alcantara? - 0 posts
furnature in fureteventura - 4 posts
3 months longer for developers to sell a new development - 0 posts
MRI international - 93 posts
kids football teams - 0 posts
Andalucian dream homes? have you used them? - 86 posts

Number of posts in this thread: 95

DISCLAIMER:  All opinions posted on these message boards are the opinion solely of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Eye on Spain, its servants or agents.


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
Our Weekly Email Digest
Name:  
Email:
   
Compare car hire in Spain


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x