Bank help needed , please

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28 May 2013 8:38 AM by STEVEE Star rating in Urcal. 30 posts Send private message

Hi, we are trying to open a Sol bank account to use on line prior to our move to Spain next month , the problem is that if I understand their poor English and my hopeless Spanish along with the e mails see below-

In reference to "collecting on line services", you need to sign all documentation about opening an account and collect the keys to operate on line

Do I really have to go to London to complete opening the basic personal account ??

Help steve

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28 May 2013 8:50 AM by nigel188 Star rating in Estepona. 639 posts Send private message

 Hi Steve

I am sorry you will have to go to London to open your Account. See link below.

This   Website is also good to look at for more information.


Good Luck





This message was last edited by nigel188 on 28/05/2013.



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28 May 2013 9:42 AM by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

tamaraessex´s avatar
Normally you just pop onto the branch in your village or town, and it takes about 15 minutes. Many folks do it when they are in Spain choosing / processing their house purchase or rental, so there is no travel involved (or very little). If you missed that window of opportunity then it seems to me you are fortunate that there IS a branch in England for you to visit! And yes, you have to go there because there are identity checks etc to complete.

For example, I had forgotten that my bank had taken a photo of me when I opened my account. But how useful a couple of months sgo when I ended up in a newrby town having left my purse and all bank cards on the table at home! Yet a branch of my bank, Cajamar, where I had never been before, was able to give me cash because my signature and my photo were on their computer :-)

I think being present in person is normal for opening bank accounts in any country. I's for your own security as well as theirs.


 Blog about settling into a village house in the Axarquía.

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28 May 2013 11:24 AM by STEVEE Star rating in Urcal. 30 posts Send private message

Thanks for the advice, I think we will be going in the local branch when in Spain , can't face PALL MALL on a week day after a 200 mile drive :-)



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29 May 2013 8:37 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message


                                A word of warning. I have banked in Spain for over 30 years.
A couple of years ago on the advice of a friend I opened a sterling investment account with Sol Bank with £160,000. The interest rate was good for one year but then became uncompetitive.   I asked what would be the cheapest way to withdraw or transfer the investment.    It transpired that whatever I did Sol Bank would charge me 0.5% on the whole amount. That was just over 800 euros.
I transferred the money and paid the 800 + Euros. I continued to try and get Sol Bank to reconsider their exorbitant charge, but even the senior management were not interested.
I know people will tell you  Sol Bank is a great bank:  That’s what I would have said too until I wanted to transfer my money.
From my 30 years’ experience in Spain I would suggest you open an account with a Caja. They are similar to building societies in UK. Have a chat with the manager and ensure that they will give you good charge rates on whatever you will need to do, including the charges which banks make when you deposit money. (especially from UK transfers, including those received in euros).   I pay 30 cent max per transaction.   And, never, assume any charges or services  will be the same as in in UK:  Always ask.

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29 May 2013 10:46 AM by STEVEE Star rating in Urcal. 30 posts Send private message

Johnzx, I have checked the charges on their site and for a premiere account its all within the €8 per mth charge along with some other extras, there is a fee of 0.6% for transfers out of Spain if over €50,000. I could list them but that would be a free ad LOL

So not quite free banking but it will cover us for €96 a year .


Ps the broken English help desk was a bit useful ,

Note to self , must pay more attention in class !

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29 May 2013 12:46 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

,...........................    there is a fee of 0.6% for transfers out of Spain if over €50,000 and 96 euros a a year for maintaining an account.


So now if I transferred my 160,000 instead of Sol Bank charging me an exorbitant  800 euros it would be  960 euros.

Incidentally,  the 50,000 no charge transfer within the Euro Area (not UK, Gib. Etc.)  is an EU regulation not a customer friendly act by Sol Bank.  As too is the fact that no banks in Spain are allowed to charge for receiving pension payments.


NB     Caja Mar do not charge me anything for maintaining my account, making DD's etc. 

  As I said,  Sol Bank is not a user friendly bank. so why use them when there are so many others who do not fleece their customers ??


 But its your choice Stevee,  so good luck.

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29 May 2013 1:54 PM by STEVEE Star rating in Urcal. 30 posts Send private message

....................So now if I transferred my 160,000 instead of Sol Bank charging me an exorbitant 800 euros it would be 960 euros.

could you not just do 40k a day for 4 days ?

the fee only applys for transfers outside spain as i read it.

domestic to a group account €0

domestic to other banks €0

international up to €50k within EU €0

other wise 0.6% min €20

for me these sort of transfers would be at cashing out time and i would  probably be losing a whole lot more :-(

how ever thanks for the heads up , i was expecting to have to be wary of the spanish institutions but so far the only spat i've had was with an expat trader :-(

im sure we will pay for part of our education as is the world

regards steve




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29 May 2013 2:12 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

The main point is that Caja Mar would have charged me a maximum of 25€ to transfer any amount (to Gib  in my case)  
 From my 30 years of banking in Spain I know that every other bank I have dealt with have been open to negotiating charges, including transfers to GIb.
But it's your choice.
PS           I was talking to someone this morning who said they just got another, I think final,  payment from BICC (Bank of Credit and Commerce International)  which collapsed in 1991.  
A few years before 1991 I had been a detective  on the Company Fraud Dep’t of the Met Police and had had dealing with BCCI. 
Shortly before the collapse I had suggested to a friend that they should think carefully before investing money with that bank. They did not take the advice and I guess after over 20 years they have finally got back what they had in the bank, but of course in the interim, with devaluation, their loss has been substantial.
But that was their choice.
I am not suggesting that Sol Bank is about to bust, only that you might, like me, be in for some unpleasant surprises which you might have avoided.
Good luck Stevee.

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02 Jun 2013 3:03 PM by ehw Star rating in Western end of the C.... 60 posts Send private message


This thread is a bit old now but I thought it worth mentioning that La Caixa now offer commission free accounts. Obviously there are conditions attached the principal one being that you use the machine to pay money in and withdraw money. Hardly a major problem.

In addition they offer over 65s a Club Ahora (yes AHORA, not AHORRO) card which is a Visa card free of most charges that are applied to a normal Visa card. In addition it offers various other benefits depending on your life style. For Instance the RENFE Tarjeta Dorada by means of which over 60s can obtain discounts on train fares. To get it at RENFE you have to pay 5€ each year. The Tarjeta Ahora includes it, it's free and it's permanent. There are other advantages which we don't use but others undoubtedly do use. It costs nothing to ask about it and at La Caixa they'll talk to you in English if that's what you need. Another thing that La Caixa are really good at is selling theatre tickets. They own the web site Ticketmaster, you book online and the machine in the bank issues the tickets. It really couldn't be better.


All the best


I do not object to folk who want to talk about Brexit, this is a free world

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02 Jun 2013 3:07 PM by STEVEE Star rating in Urcal. 30 posts Send private message

Thanks for the info, i'll look out for the ahora card in another 16 yrs :-)


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