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Everything you need to know about closing a Spanish bank account

The Local Spain
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Everything you need to know about closing a Spanish bank account
To close an account in Spain you usually need to return the bank cards and, if applicable, the chequebook. Photo: Pixabay.

You might want to close a bank account in Spain for any number of reasons. From the process, the paperwork, where to do it and more key questions, we've got you covered.


There are a whole host of reasons why you might want to close your Spanish bank account. Perhaps you're packing up and leaving the country, or moving between banks, or maybe you've just had enough of getting charged extra fees.

Fortunately, closing your Spanish bank account should be a relatively easy (and fast) process, if you know what you're doing.

Four simple words - Quiero cerrar mi cuenta (I want to close my account) - that should be enough to make it happen, right?

Here's everything you need to know.

How long does it take?

Bank accounts in Spain can be canceled at any time, without prior notice. In fact, according to the Bank of Spain “an account can always be cancelled at any time and without notice. And within 24 hours of the request, the entity must have closed it”.  

Is there a cancellation charge?

Cancelling a Spanish bank account shouldn't have any extra costs, except in the case that the contract has been in force for less than six months. If you benefited from a promotion for opening the account (if they offered you an interest free loan or cash bonus, for example), there may be a minimum contract period you have to respect. 

In the case that you want to cancel your account before that deadline, you will likely have to return at least part of the benefit, depending on the bank, account, and offer. It's always better to double check with the bank before cancelling your account.

READ ALSO: How to avoid paying hidden fees when closing your bank account in Spain

On the other hand, if you have paid commissions in advance (usually in Spain they are on a quarterly basis but can be annually), the bank is obliged to return the corresponding proportional amount for both debit or credit commissions and the dreaded 'maintenance fees'.


Do I have to cancel in branch?

You might be wondering if you have to cancel in branch, or even in the same branch where you originally opened the account. 

Though there is no rule stating that you must cancel your account at a specific branch, often when customers wanting to cancel go into their local branch they are referred to the branch where the account was originally opened. 

This seems to be a trick banks use to try and keep customers, and the Bank of Spain establishes that banking entities must comply with their customer's demands, especially in the case of cancelling an account.


What about online?

The Bank of Spain considers it 'bad practice', according to Spain's consumer watchdog (OCU) if banks do not allow customers to cancel their account online, often through the 'personal area' of your banking app, with one notable exception: if the contract states that account closure must be made in person, something very uncommon but worth double checking in your contract. 

Generally speaking, BBVA, ING or EVO Banco allow you to close accounts online or through the app, but banks such as Banco Santander, CaixaBank or Banco Sabadell can require the customer to come into the branch to close an account. 

However, if you speak to customer service by phone, it is possible to have it closed that way if travelling to the original branch isn't possible. 

Which documents do I need?

To close an account in Spain you usually need to return the bank cards and, if applicable, the chequebook. 

The OCU recommends that you also submit a written request: and you can use a current account cancellation form for this.

If you make the request in person, the OCU suggests taking a copy of the request form to the branch so you can get it stamped, and you can keep as proof of cancellation for your records.

READ ALSO: The Spanish bank accounts with no extra fees


What about joint accounts?

If you have a joint account with a spouse or sibling, the cancellation request must be signed by all named account holders, otherwise the bank may not accept the request.

Can I close the account if I have a loan?

Spanish banking regulations do allow banks to force their customers to keep a current account open for the purpose of managing other banking products, such as a mortgage or a loan, but the following requirements must be met:

  • That prior to signing the contract agreement the customer was informed of the requirement to maintain a linked account, as well as any potential costs.
  • That the same information is expressly included in the contract.

If this is not the case, you should be able to close the account without any problems regardless of a loan.

What about cancelling my account from abroad?

Closing a Spanish bank account from overseas can be more challenging, but it's not impossible. Here's everything you need to know about the banks that tend to allow it and those that don't, as well as the different potential ways you could cancel your 'cuenta' from outside of Spain.

You can read everything you need to know about closing your Spanish bank account from abroad by clicking on the link below.

READ ALSO: Can I close my Spanish bank account from abroad?


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