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Opening a bank account in Valencia can range from difficult to immensely simple and smooth. One issue is finding someone among staff in any bank able to speak fluent English. Add the lack of desire for agreement and haphazard knowledge of what is and what is not legally permitted.

Recent years have seen large changes with through mergers and closures in the banking landscape in Spain. Many brands have consequently disappeared from the market, even if numbers of branches across the city are still quite formidable.

In your writer’s experience, some banks refuse offering an account to a foreigner who is registered while others give misleading information on the conditions of opening an account.

The proficiency of a young woman with whom I spoke to at Santander was exceptional. She stated categorically that I can open an account with my British passport, my British address and a so-called certificate of non-residence, certificado no residencia.

A hunt began for the correct police division, national or local, and which station. Finally, armed with that info, I was able to apply for the paperwork at the police station located behind the Estacio del Norte railway station. Interestingly there was no need for a so-called NIE.

The foreign husband of a Spanish friend highly recommended the service that Sabadell offered. Armed with my paperwork it took perhaps an hour of excellent service in fairly fluent English until I was issued with documents concerning the account printed in English. The online banking provided by Sabadell is available also in English, French and German.

Typically, I was not required to show the certificate of non-residence.

Story by DeiaGreg / Jul 23, 2018


The Spanish are a gregarious folk. They enjoy the outdoors and their frequent reasons to celebrate. This holds true for the natives of Valencia too.

Generational differences are visible across the board. The elderly are more reserved and less likely to speak a foreign language. They already speak two of their own. Younger locals are open and more willing to interact. All are friendly.