Advice on Cajamar Bank

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11 Jan 2018 12:51 PM by Silvertop Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

A brief message for anyone contemplating a property purchase in Spain and the necessary opening of a local bank account might want to consider my experiences with Cajamar.

I opened an account with Cajamar in 2006 for a property transaction, and without going into how the developer went into administration and the whole drama about eventually getting part of my money back (I was luckier than some), I contacted them at the beginning of last year because I knew I had a few hundred euros left in the account, this being the remainder of some funds which had been deposited for the use of my solicitor who helped in the property deposit return process. By the way, high praise to Maria Luisa de Castro and her team at Costaluz Lawyers.

From the very start of this current process Cajamar have been obstructive. It wasn't until I mentioned getting the Defensor del Cliente involved that customer services eventually told me I had to deal with the branch directly although they wouldn't give me any english speaking contact details. In August last year I had the opportunity to visit the branch  in question (oficina 0874, Torre del Mar) while on holiday nearby but I was disappointed to find that despite signs to the contrary on the front door, no english speaking staff were available. As a result of this visit, someone from that branch (no names allowed!) did eventually contact me. After being informed that my account would have to be 'reactivated' so that I could get my deposits back, I paid for a new non-resident certificate and signed some dodgy looking paperwork but since then that person has ignored all requests for progress information while more recently the central customer services office have continued the trend and ignored further threats of passing this to the Defensor del Cliente.

I shouldn't be treated any differently to someone who has an active account. Cajamar has my money but despite numerous requests and even verbal assurances, they won't even give me copies of my statements so I have no way of knowing if the account has or has not been abused by a third party over the last few years or even if all my money is still in there. 

I would urge anyone thinking about starting off any financial dealings in Spain to seriously consider avoiding Cajamar for the provision of their banking services because if you ever want to close your account you could well find yourself in the same position. I can't speak for any other financial institutions in Spain, but I'd be very surprised if there were any worse service providers out there.

Of course, this isn't a purely altruistic message. I would hope Cajamar customer services read this and deceide they have not only the integrity but the common sense to recognise they've fallen down on their responsibilities on this occassion, and act accordingly to rectify it as soon as possible. I will continue this thread on a regular basis with details of how and if things are progressing.

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11 Jan 2018 1:33 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

Sorry  but I have not had time to read this long post

I have had accounts with several banks and Cajas since 1983.    I have had an account with Cajamar for over 12 years. That I am still with them may show that I am very satisfied.  For me they have always been almost perfect.

When I opened the account I asked about what services they provided and negotiated  charges for each service which I might use, thus I have very low charges and for most things there is no charge.

My son opened a non-residents account with them about ten years ago.  Amongst charges he discussed was what they would charge for funds being deposited into the account when transferred from a sterling account in UK.  He was about to buy a property. The manager said they had to make a charge but agreed that for any transaction, no matter how much,  it would be just 30 cents.  He too is happy with the caja

I can only think that Silvertop was unlucky and the servvce he has received was far from typical

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11 Jan 2018 3:09 PM by johnmcmahon Star rating. 335 posts Send private message

had an an account with Cajamar for 5 years now. No problems at all

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11 Jan 2018 4:22 PM by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4556 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Personally I think all banks are *&#¡!, all as bad as each other, and especially so in Spain.

Although Silvertop made a fairly lengthy post, there's not very much to go on, but my take on it, for what it's worth:

The account has been inactive since 2006 - or maybe far more recently, we don't know. Either way, the "few hundred" euros in the account may well have eroded to €0 with maintenance fees and charges etc., putting the account in to the red and being suspended. Dealing with central customer service departments (probably based in South America) is a waste of time, and it's far better to deal face to face - but if the last such encounter was in August last year, I'm not at all surprised that no further info has been forthcoming. This needs a visit in person and a simple request for the complaints form. Obviously not an option if the OP is not in Spain - but this seems to be a recurring issue lately: people trying (hoping) to carry out what should be fairly simple tasks in Spain from afar, either using what most of us consider fairly normal forms of communication, or using the services of "professionals" who most of us expect to be trustworthy and reliable.

Big lessons to be learned by many, methinks!



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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11 Jan 2018 7:30 PM by johnmcmahon Star rating. 335 posts Send private message

cajamar is a cooperative savings bank. I used them to buy my place and for utilities and car tax DD. I get letters and emails in English of any changes including when non res have to declare something every couple of years. Their charges are modest but if you buy 1000 Euro shares in the coop, there's no charges

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12 Jan 2018 7:44 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

John yes good comment about buying shares on the caja.  My wife did that to avoid charges on her personal account.  Now she gets free banking and dividends on the shares 

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12 Jan 2018 9:44 PM by hughjardon Star rating in Jaywick Sands. 418 posts Send private message

hughjardon´s avatar

BANKS in SPAIN ARE A JOKE its just some are bigger JOKES than others 

KEEP your MONEY in GIBRALTAR thats what most PEOPLE always told ME 

Love Hugh xx

Done the Spain thing Happier in the UK

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17 Mar 2019 9:01 PM by Comic Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

I have had a Cajamar account including the capital account for 15 years - so Cajamar is Ok.. But not the Torre del Mar branch!!! 

It represents the worst customer service I have ever experienced and I would advise to avoid  - ther are alternatives.

We wanted to move account from Competa to Torre - went into the Torre branch and was told we needed an apointment the next day to see a particular guy and watched the manager? write the appointment into the staff members totally free diary page. We arrived next day only to be rebuffed by the guy on the basis that he refused to see anybody who he had not met personally and if we wanted to see anyone we should try to find the manager - who of course was not there. The poor lady on the cash desk (the only other person in the bank) looked distraught but I suspect that it was not a new experience. 

We will be moving accounts elsewhere despite the hardship that that will cause us.

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17 Mar 2019 11:24 PM by ads Star rating. 4101 posts Send private message

18 Mar 2019 9:33 AM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1248 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Comic, these experiences can and do occur in Spanish banks, mainly due to a culture of no staff discipline. Bank head office sets the standard with it’s abusive treatment of customers and then anyone with the slightest authority in branch believes that is the correct behaviour to follow.

All the banks published customer care policy and procedure is created by one person in a head office back room. He/she is a failed manager considered the banks clown waiting to retire.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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20 Mar 2019 11:59 AM by ads Star rating. 4101 posts Send private message

An even greater case then for the EU to step up to the mark to ensure that financial regulatory structures are monitored and enforced in protection of citizens rights in Spain, and that compliance is not allowed to become rhetoric alone?.

Are Spanish citizens equally compromised by this problem or might there be some underhand discrimination occurring in certain Bank branches against non nationals?

 If so then this needs to be swiftly and consistently reported back to the EU commissioner via MEPs by those affected. ( by requesting that they bring this to the attention of the European Commissioner Vladis Dombrovskis

..............., the post is responsible for proposing measures to make financial services work better for consumers and retail investors, and promoting global consistency in regulation and the implementation of agreed standards and principles in cooperation with international partners.


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20 Mar 2019 12:34 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1248 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Ads, I have asked on a few occasions if underhand discrimination takes place against non nationals. It’s a sensitive subject and difficult to actually prove. I believe the EU commissioner and any other authority don’t really want to know and would sooner turn a blind eye.

I have lived and worked in many countries throughout the world and I have yet to find one where non nationals are not classed as a meal ticket. The only exception being the UK where you could find adverts in situations vacant saying ‘’priority will be given to ethnic minorities’’.   

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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20 Mar 2019 6:47 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

May be I have just been lucky.  I moved my account to CajaMar about 20 years ago.  There was one Spaniard working there when I opened the account, the test of the staff were Northern Europeans as now are all the staff.

i negotiated a good deal on all charges when I opened the account and I have never had but excellent service.  

Occasionally I use another branch. They too have always been helpful and pleasant 

As I said I may have just been lucky

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21 Mar 2019 2:09 PM by Comic Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Thanks for the links, ads. I've just been away for a few days so a bit slow in replying.  There are really two issues.  Firstly, a technical complaint - Cajamar forced a change on us because they closed our local branch. The transfer to another pueblo happened automatically - ie we did not have to change any direct debits or inform paying institutions. We want to transfer to an alternative branch with the same route of Cajamar just linking old account to new account - impossible we are told!!

Secondly, and the real point of the post was the unbelieveable attitude of one staff member who would only deal with customers he chose.

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21 Mar 2019 2:34 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1248 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Only impossible because they refuse to do it. Maybe you need to evaluate why this attitude has arisen.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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