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24 Oct 2011 00:00 by herbalist36 Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

 Hello all, I would be grateful if anyone can help, I have a few questions.

1- which bank is considered the best to bank in Spain.
2- which bank has the lesser charges in ATM withdrawals.
3- which bank has better international transfer rates
4- which bank charges less for any regular chequing account 

I have heard that Barclays in one of the best, is it ? or ?

Also I need the name of a good gestor and lawyer in the Granada, Alpujarras area, one that is honest, effective and well priced 

thank you all for your help


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24 Oct 2011 21:25 by DavyD Star rating in Livingston, Scotland. 11 posts Send private message


This would appear to be a search for the holy grail !!

Best Bank please and whilst your at it, Spain's best and most honest lawyer

Oh and while your there, could someone find me the cheapest and best legally built home ?


My friend, you ask for the holy trinity !!!



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24 Oct 2011 22:28 by Tolly99 Star rating. 19 posts Send private message

we bank with Solbank, and am very happy with them - tbh never use the atm, always go into the branch  and withdraw for free.  when we transfer funds we do not get any charges.  i negotiate with the manager re any charges they add to the account, and normally get them refunded - do not get charged for depositing cheques, or transferring from GPB to € etc.

I have to say that i think that it really depends on the relationship you have with the individual branch, rather than the bank in general

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24 Oct 2011 22:55 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

Barclays is by far the best in my opinion.  Avoid Santander at all costs.  Also steer clear of the Cajas.


Read my blog: Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers 

Use TransferWise to send money abroad. A lot cheaper than the bank and other online currency exchanges!.



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24 Oct 2011 23:52 by fultond Star rating in Haywards Heath & Tor.... 242 posts Send private message

I'm happy with Lloyds, was Halifax. Charges around 20€ per year plus the usual charges. I don't have any other charges as all bills are standing orders. For cash I use a Citibank UK Euro account. Good rates of conversion and no ATM costs as account is in Euros.



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25 Oct 2011 10:26 by leema Star rating in Washington Tyne & We.... 655 posts Send private message

We changed from Solbank as they were robbing us blind, changed to Barclays and they are brilliant, you even get money back for paying utility bills.



Maureen & Dennis

Coto Real

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25 Oct 2011 14:03 by Patty_1 Star rating in Hertfordshire. UK. .... 1062 posts Send private message

Well as I have said before Barclays has been great for us!!!!! After the Bank of Valencia charging for everything going, the thing is in the UK we are not used to Banks charging for DD  and other transactions!!!! 

So Barclays has been a refreshing change long may it continue!!!!!




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25 Oct 2011 14:28 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

We were with Citibank who were OK but nothing special.  When we moved properties we changed to Santander who were unbelievably poor  - had to stand to queue and not a clue about providing a service. 

Now we're with Barclays whose performance has been exemplary - never any charges and we receive a modest credit on utility payments.  Just wish they were as good in the UK .

You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.

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25 Oct 2011 15:14 by Bri Star rating in North. 591 posts Send private message

 It is interesting re Santander.  We have a branch here in the UK which is unbelievably slow - you have to wait ages in a queue and then ages for a simple transaction.  Maybe they train them that way!!!




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31 Oct 2011 21:30 by spanishsteve Star rating in Surrey, Eastbourne &.... 81 posts Send private message

Re Barclays, did you open the Barclays account in Spain or UK ? Do you get a debit card if you open a Barclays Account in Spain?

I popped into my local Barclays in the UK to ask about the Euro account and they stated it did not come with a debit card.


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31 Oct 2011 22:07 by Anthony100 Star rating in UK. 130 posts Send private message

is there a bank that will allow free transfers from the uk monthly to pay direct debits like the mortgage?

i.e barclays to barclays


Owner on condado de alhama in Garden 3 and block 10

Love being in Spain

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31 Oct 2011 22:42 by spanishsteve Star rating in Surrey, Eastbourne &.... 81 posts Send private message

I'm sure you can transfer money from a Barclays sterling account to a Barclays Euro account for free bar their exchange rate. These accounts are UK based not Spain based.

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31 Oct 2011 22:56 by Patty_1 Star rating in Hertfordshire. UK. .... 1062 posts Send private message

Yes you can with Barclays, I have sent a sterling cheque to our euro account and it was converted for us. No charge.

We do not have a mortgage it was just to pay the utility bills and buy a couple of things we needed.





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01 Nov 2011 09:53 by Acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

Hi Patricia,

I'm unsure if we're the same.  It used to be completely free, but now Barclays UK charge me £25.00 to make a sterling transfer - but it's received and transferred into Euros foc by Barclays Spain.  If I were to send the cash in Euros, Barclays UK would do the conversion and only charge £15 - but the exchange rate obtained in Spain is better and worth sending the cash out to Spain in sterling.

Re the earlier query from SpanishSteve & Anthony - my experience is that they are totally separate organisations.  We opened the Barclays account in Spain and were issued with debit and credit cards, including a useful Electron card locally.  We had a Euro account in the UK many years ago but hardly used it as cheques took an age to clear, but the question has got me thinking that resurrecting it may be a way of avoiding the transfer charge - ie by paying a Euro cheque drawn on the free Barclays UK Euro account into our account in Spain.

For me, any way of stopping bankers from hitting you with these charges is a double whammy !

You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.

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01 Nov 2011 13:23 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

If you pay a Sterling cheque into your Spanish bank account, it is entirely up to the manager if or how much (up to the maximum banks are allowed to charge) you will be charged.
I have negotiated with the manager of my son's Spanish bank and they charge 30 cents,  on large or small cheques.
The other 'problem' you will have, and it is usually more important, is the exchange rate you will get. Some banks 'hide' that when telling you how small their (up front)  charge is.

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01 Nov 2011 13:51 by Patty_1 Star rating in Hertfordshire. UK. .... 1062 posts Send private message

Hi Acer,

Well I know we never got charged for the sterling cheque.  The thing is they sometimes change the rules. But we opened the account over two years ago now.  So there might be different rules.

I did not have a debit card with Barclays they asked if we wanted one, but they did give us a electron card, but have never used it as yet.

Yes it might be worth you reopening your Barclays account in the UK.





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01 Nov 2011 15:21 by Acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for yours - I've always used their "SEPA" credit transfer in the past, but I'll try it and thanks for the thought.   I find the Electron card useful to avoid the card fee on flight bookings - we travel to & fro a lot, so it adds up.  The exchange rate is excellent and sometimes I book from Spain in Euros anyway.


You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.

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03 Nov 2011 18:32 by fozzer1 Star rating. 49 posts Send private message

Surely there has to be a bank in the uk and spain where we can transfere for free



Someone must know a way round this


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03 Nov 2011 23:37 by cbrammeld Star rating. 172 posts Send private message

 Large foreign exchange companies claim to get you best deal eg Moneycorp but they still charge £10 online or £4-£8 regular transfer. Monthy transfer cost can quickly mount up.

We use Caxtonfx euro card and load it up when ever it looks a decent exchange rate, no commision. Rate today 1.13 to £ which is same rate as places like MoneyShop on the high street. When in Spain we draw the euros out of the cash point, go in to the bank and pay in to our account. We are in Spain about once every 6 weeks and bank is only half mile away. We top up Spanish bank account every 4 months as its only used for mortgage, utilities, community fees.


Tried various "free" transfer companies but sting was always lower exchange rate, Bank of Scotland could not even tell me the rate as it would be decided in a few days time. Used them once and rate was 2.5 cents less than cash rate on High Street MoneyShop. Greedy bankers.

If you want the convienience of monthly payments (set up and forget) it looks like it will be expensive at about £60 year.



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04 Nov 2011 12:29 by norm de plume Star rating in North Tenerife and L.... 162 posts Send private message

Citibank Euro Account - no charges, either for  account, debit/cash card, withdrawals, or transfers, and spot rate for conversion.  Unbeatable (and I'm not on commission).

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