Further to our FAQs from December 2017, the Spanish Government has finally followed up on the Royal Decree from November 2017, and a European Directive from 2014 with regards to the obligation for bank to offer Basic Bank Accounts, and has approved and published an ´order´ earlier this month to this effect.
All bank entities need to offer Basic Bank Accounts, with capped monthly commissions at 3 euros/month, including the charges for the use of a debit card and a maximum of 120 payment transactions/year, be it payment of bills by direct debits or transfers to other bank accounts. Both through the actual bank offices, or through online banking. If another bank entitity, involved in a transaction, charges a fee, the bank is allowed to charge the account holder.
These tariffs stand for 2 years, to be evaluated after.
The banks need to advertise this new option for private account holders. The account is not meant for businesses, autonomos, professionals etc.
The banks cannot oblige you to subscribe to any other bank product, as a condition to open the BBA.
To include those in a position of social vulnerability, they need to offer these BBA´s free of charge in the following circumstances and on request of the account holder. *
Income of account holder if single person under 12.908 euros/year (2x IPREM)
Income of family under 4 people – 16.135 euros/year (2,5x IPREM)
Income of unit of 4 people or more, or accredited as ´familia numerosa´ – 19.362 euros/year (3x IPREM)
Same for family unit that includes a disabled person with accredited disability of at least 33%.
In all cases, you cannot be the owner of or have any rights to any property, besides your habitual home, nor own a commercial business (real sociedad mercantile).
You will need to provide tax information (RENTA) to show you meet the above income requisite, or the request can be put to the bank through Social Services.*
If you already have a regular bank account, with the same or another bank, the bank you want to open the BBA with, will provide you with a form to fill out, either in the offices, or through their websites so you can apply telematically, and they will arrange for the transfer, free of charge.
You will be asked to provide information re standing bank orders, direct debits etc. and they will take care of informing all involved as well. If you prefer, you can do so yourself as well.
The order will come into force today, the 26th of March 2019. The free bank account will be made available as of the 23rd of April.
The above between * and * is the general information from the law, for the exact requirements with regards to paperwork to provide, please contact your bank or Social Services in your town. The exemption to pay the capped amounts will be valid for 2 years, to be evaluated after that.
Note: info re bank accounts opened for the sole purpose of direct debit mortgage payments.
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