Starling Bank Euro Account

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03 Nov 2019 11:46 PM by Rumbletum Star rating. 10 posts Send private message


is anyone using the euro account from Starling?  According to their website it has no charges for banking, direct debits etc., you get the Mastercard exchange rate when converting GBP to Euro's, but there is a 0.4% currency exchange fee regardless of the size of the transfer, so converting currency is not free (but it does sound like a good deal).

I was thinking of opening one to use as my current account in Spain, where I pay about €100 a year to Sabadell for the privilege of having an account.  I send over a few hundred euros per month into the account to cover the direct debits associated with my holiday home e.g. energy bill, community fees, council tax.  I currently use TransferWise to send the money, so the 0.4% charge from Starling would be marginally cheaper than the TransferWise charge.  It's free banking with Starling so I would also save the €100 charged by Sabadell.

Would this work, or do you have to have a Spanish bank account if you own property in Spain?  Can anyone see any pitfalls with transferring the direct debits to Starling and then closing the Sabadell account?


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04 Nov 2019 2:41 PM by GuyT Star rating. 508 posts Send private message

Will direct debits to Spanish entities, such as Iberdrola, work with a non-Spanish bank account? I doubt it very much.

I often have trouble using a UK debit card to buy stuff online from Spanish sellers.....quite often they seem unable to process non-Spanish debit cards. 

Avoiding Spanish banking scams is a sort of Holy Grail...I'll be interesting in knowing how it worked out.

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04 Nov 2019 4:39 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1248 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

In theory if Spain companies understand and apply SEPA there should be no problem in you setting up direct debits and them collecting them, providing Starling Bank remains part of SEPA after BREXIT.  However don’t hold your breath as Spain has an attitude of doing what it likes.

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

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13 Nov 2019 8:35 AM by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1836 posts Send private message

You can have completely free banking with Sabadell by changing your account to an Expansion account. You only need to pay in a minimum of €700 per month.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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24 Nov 2019 5:24 PM by arago Star rating. 21 posts Send private message

"You only need to pay in a minimum of €700 per month"

No longer the case from 1 January 2020. From next year Expansion accounts will have 5€/month maintenance fee unless, as well as putting in €700 per month, the holder:

has an insurance product from the bank (life/health/car/home), or

leases a car from Sabadell or

puts 10,000€ in one of the bank's investment products or

is under 29 or

has a pension paid into the account


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24 Nov 2019 6:26 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1248 posts Send private message

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Quite right arago. Part ‘’A’’ of Sabadell Expansion account is to suck you in with a promise of free banking, get you to organise all your Direct Debits and money transfers. Part ‘’B’’ is to introduce all their money making clauses. Part ‘’C’’ is to follow.

When will we ever learn, there’s nought for nought, just gullible mugs. Free today, expensive tomorrow, sign here Mr & Mrs Sponge.

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

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24 Nov 2019 10:23 PM by Mrsubby Star rating. 75 posts Send private message

Bankia digital account with debit card and app.

all free banking no annual charge for debit card,no minimum amount to keep into account.

use it to pay our Spanish bills by direct debit or can pay by digital transfer 

just top up when need to.

so yes free banking is available and have used for several years

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03 Jun 2020 9:25 AM by Teresamc Star rating. 9 posts Send private message


We have banked with Cam/Sabadell for 23 years but last couple of years Sabadell charges really out of hand, including the chagre for the debit card over 150 euro. Did not want to put 700 euro across a month as too much.

Have had a Starling card for 3 years now and opened a Euro account in April. Tricky bit changing the direct debits from Sabadell to Starling. We contacted our solicitor who said that they could do the whole process for us for 72.60 euro incl tax. Transferred their fee, gave them the Starling Euro account number, any other details they required and within 10 days had an email yesterday to say all complete, no direct debits have come out yet so fingers crossed.

It is very easy to transfer money from £ to Euro account and rate very reasonable and send as you need it, brilliant.

All remains to be done now is close Sabadell account, expect they will not make it easy and transfer any monies in the account to Starling Euro account.

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03 Jun 2020 11:50 AM by asillisa1 Star rating. 29 posts Send private message


I am with sabadell also just for utilities with mtc fees of around 150 euros per year use my irish bank card for every day expenses my question is will the utilities companies accept direct debits with my own irish account


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03 Jun 2020 12:54 PM by Teresamc Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

 Hi asillisa1

Assume you have a Euro account so yes, no different to Euro Starling, you just have to present your whole Iban account number and Swift/bici, that is what we have done 


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03 Jun 2020 1:45 PM by asillisa1 Star rating. 29 posts Send private message

Thanks Teresa will try


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03 Jun 2020 5:36 PM by Rumbletum Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

Hi Teresamc,

That's really useful information, is your solicitor dealing with closing the Sabadell account or is this something you're doing yourself?  If you're doing it yourself what do you have to do to close the Sabadell account?

It would be very useful if you could update this thread in a months time and let us know if the direct debits etc. went smoothly.



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03 Jun 2020 7:25 PM by Teresamc Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

Hi Rumbletum

Going to email Sabadell, I understand from searching has to be in writing but will update thread when done, I do not think our Solicitor would be able to close our account


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03 Jun 2020 7:31 PM by juansheetisplenty Star rating in Cartagena. 283 posts Send private message

juansheetisplenty´s avatar

Very interesting thread. Bankia since the start of the lockdown have been charging a 6Euro monthly maintenance fee to myself and others I know( and as typical) they do not respond to emails at the branch level.. I have been using Transferwise for a while to transfer money into Spain and now note they offer direct debits to a  free Euro account. You get a designated account and Sepa number starting with BE (presumably Belgium) . So my question is are direct debits operate across the Eurozone? Given the current situation of not being able to travel, not sure I wish to experiment personally, but as one of original posters pointed out it is down to Iberdrola and Water. All the rest can be done via ad-hoc payment systems these days such as car and council tax. Anybody else any experience of having tried?



This message was last edited by juansheetisplenty on 03/06/2020.

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05 Jun 2020 1:49 PM by Teresamc Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

Hi Rumbletum and all

I emailed Sabadell yesterday and asked for closure procedure and not in Spain at present. I recevied a reply today and was told that my balance had to be zero and nothing active on the account and to then call and ask for closure.

Firstly I went into my account and blocked all the direct debits.

I then went to transfer the balance to my Starling, which was an International Transfer, whilst doing  this it showed  a 5.05 euro charge so I changed the transfer amount minus 5.05 for the bank fee. 

After doing this my account showed a zero balance.

I then telephoned Sabadell  on 0034 963 085 000, told them I wanted to close my account, they asked was the account at zero, yes, a few security details, mainly from Sabadell Login and was told they will contact Head Office to close the account.

It was very very simple [maybe a bit too simple]  but hopefully all done,

Just have to wait for the direct debits to come out of Starling, think the first one due will be the Water end of June so fingers crossed, any problems and I will post on here



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06 Jun 2020 10:31 AM by Rumbletum Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

Brilliant! Thanks Teresa

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08 Jun 2020 12:59 AM by MikeandHelen Star rating. 191 posts Send private message

Banco Sabbadell no longer have free banking if you have more than 700euros paid in every month, changed a cople of momnths ago.


I hav a Starling UK account, a Starling Euro and a Starling Business account. However I won't be using the business account as they only allow one email address and phone number per person and as my Business is a separate legal identity as it's a limited company, I'll stick with NatWest particularily as they's reduced charges recently.

I intend to use the Euro Account for my outgoings in Spain.

The exchange rate is veru good, almost as good as transferwise, and can be done almost immediately.

They claim they are a SEPA registerd entitiy with an IBAN Number, I managed to transfer my Internet with no problem, the House insurance was not a problem but the personal insurance policies we have were. They changed one and then told me that I had to make the payments from a Spanish Account. So i've refused.

Iberderola don't allow entry of the Starling IBAN Number on their website and when trying to resolve ths, I was told that Starling, according to the official information of the EPC (European Payment Council), this bank does not accept Sepa direct debits. In that case, you must present a bank certificate that your bank accepts Sepa direct debit and we will go ahead with the process.

All Starling could tell me was to send them a lnk to their web oage thats says they are part of SEPA but couldn't tell me where this was on the EPC website. 

I'm persevering but also having trouble with the Water and Gas.

So does anyone else have a way round these problems, or can reccomend Utility companys that are Brit friendly?





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08 Jun 2020 9:44 AM by Teresamc Star rating. 9 posts Send private message


I can only re-iterate that our Solicitor has assured me that they have set up, Suma's, Electric and Water direct debits out of our Starling Euro Account and only needed IBAN and Swift. Water is normally taken about 22nd June and Electric at the end of every month so watch this space. If I have success OR failure I will post on here


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09 Jun 2020 7:06 PM by Threelovelycoffees Star rating. 2 posts Send private message


I understand that most if not all Spanish banks increased bank charges from February 2020, unless 700€ is paid into the account each month and/or the account holder is resident in Spain!

Therefore I wonder if a non resident needs a Spanish bank account to pay utilities and council tax by Direct Debit, when a Credit Card can offer the same facility?




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09 Jun 2020 7:42 PM by juansheetisplenty Star rating in Cartagena. 283 posts Send private message

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Dennis, unfortunately this is the point. Most everything else can be done by credit card including car tax, council tax, etc. The two stumbling blocks are Water and Electricity. I am with Transferwise and have not tried yet but want to be in Spain when I do in case of issues. These two utilities will not accept credit cards and you need to input bank details. (BTW I know a resident who is being charged too since Feb)


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