An NIE , not an NIE ‘number’. Just being correct, or pedantic depending on one’s view. The NIE is a non-Spaniard’s ID NUMBER (número de identificación de extranjero) so saying ‘number is saying ‘ an ID number number’. People often do the same when talking about a PIN (Personal Identification Number ‘number’).
Just to clarify, as I said at 10.32, you will need an NIE to open a bank account, buy a property etc. However, if you MOVE to Spain you will as I said, have to register on the EU Citizen’s Register immediately, when you do that if you already have an NIE you retained that existing number, if you did not have one then the registration provides one.
Obtaining the NIE or Registering is very simple, and if when the time comes you send me a PM, I will send you the current info, and tell how to complete the single sheet form. It is very simple. No need to pay anyone to do it for you.
I have an OAP, which I have paid directly to my Spanish bank account, no charged best exchange rate etc. I also have a Gov. Employee pension, which I have paid into Nationwide in UK. I also have a visa card on Nationwide, which I use for weekly shopping, petrol etc. in Spain. I pay in EUROS There is no charge either end and Nationwide give an exchange rate which is just a smidgen below the inter-bank rate. (If you pay in GBP there is a charger and an awful exchange rate) .
At present (it may change) you can only open a bank account in UK if you live there, but if you have an account you can keep it when you move to say Spain. The bank will change your address to your Spainish one. So open any accounts you may need before you leave.
Occasionally, for a couple of months, I have my Gov pension paid direct to my Spanish bank account to top it up. I do that by sending an email instruction. It is transferred with no charges either end and, just like the OAP, at the highest exchange rate.
I believe it is usual practice in Spain for banks not to charge to maintain a bank account if you have a pension paid directly into the bank. Although you may have to pay a fee if you have a credit card on that account. That is why I cancelled my Spanish card and use my Nationwide Visa card, no charge at all.