Flag of Spain>

Economy and Banking Sector of Spain

Spain
Location
Southwestern Europe
Population  (2017)
46 528 966  (0.00%)
EU Status
member since 1986
Currency
EUR (Euro)
Nominal GDP (2016)
1 113.9 bln EUR  (+0.03%)
Credit Ratings (as of Sep 2016)
BBB+/Baa2
Consolidated Banking Assets (2016)
3 591.24 bln EUR  (-2.00%)
Deposit Guarantee
100 000 EUR
Number of Banks
260

Spain is a developed country in Southwestern Europe. After the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, Spain managed to make a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy accompanied by rapid economic modernization, which allowed Spain joining the European Union in 1986.

In early 2008, the global financial crisis burst Spanish property boom resulting in a severe economic recession from which Spain is yet to recover. Nowadays, tourism is the most important service sector of Spanish economy, contributing about 10% of GDP, while fertilizers and chemicals are the most prominent industry sectors in Spain. Although Spain has been traditionally an agrarial country, agriculture now contributes about 3% of Spanish GDP.

Spanish banking system was deeply affected by the financial crisis: in June 2012 Spain requested 100 bln EUR to recapitalize Spanish banks. Series of mergers and acquisitions took place in 2009-2014 resulting in significant decrease in the number of banks operating in Spain and enlargement of the remaining banks.

List of Banks in Spain
How to Open a Bank Account in Spain

National Currency

Euro (EUR)

Spain joined the Euro Area on 1 January 1999.

GDP

Nominal GDP (2016)Nominal GDP per Capita (2016)Real GDP Growth (2016)
1 113.9 bln EUR  (+0.03%)24 000 EUR  (+0.03%)3.2 % (unchanged)

According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Spain in 2016 was 1 113.9 bln EUR.

Spain outperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to 0.2% over the past 10 years (2006 - 2016). In 2016 real GDP growth was 3.2% which was above the Euro Area average (1.8%) and above the European Union average (1.9%). Real GDP growth in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.

Real GDP Growth in Spain.

Chart 1. Real GDP Growth in Spain. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.

In 2016, nominal GDP per capita in Spain was 24 000 EUR.

Spain has a below-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP); this economic welfare indicator has, on average, fell behind that of the European Union by -5.9% over the past 10 years (2006 - 2016). GDP per capita at PPP in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.

GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in  Spain; European Union = 100.

Chart 2. GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in Spain; European Union = 100.

Inflation Rate

CPI, MoM (Sep 2017)CPI, YoY (Sep 2017)CPI, Year Average (2016)
0.6 %  (Aug 2017: 0.2 %)1.8 %  (Aug 2017: 2.0 %)-0.3 %  (2015: -0.6 %)

According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Spain in 2016 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was -0.3% which was below the Euro Area average (0.2%) and below the European Union average (0.3%). Inflation rates in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.

Inflation Rate in Spain.

Chart 3. Inflation Rate in Spain. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.

Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate (2016)
19.6 %  (2015: 22.1 %)

Government Bond Yield

Government Bond Yield (Sep 2017)
1.54 %  (Aug 2017: 1.48 %)
According to Eurostat, government bond yield in Spain in Sep 2017 was 1.54%, compared to 1.48% in Aug 2017.
Government bond yield of Spain.

Chart 4. Government bond yield of Spain. Source: Eurostat.

Credit Ratings (as of Sep 2016)

Fitch Moody's
BBB+ (good credit quality), outlook stable Baa2 (lower medium grade), outlook stable

Withholding Tax

Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.

Withholding Tax Rates in Spain: 0.0 - 21.0%

Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Spain are shown in Table 1.

Dividends Interest
Natural person, resident 21.0 %21.0 %
Natural person, non-resident 21.0 %0.0 %
Table 1. Withholding tax rates in Spain.

Double Taxation Agreements

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.

DTAs of Spain: 93 Signed Agreements

Spain signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Albania
 Algeria
 Argentina (Dec 2013)
 Armenia
 Australia
 Austria
 Barbados
 Belarus
 Belgium
 Bolivia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Brazil
 Bulgaria
 Canada
 Chile
 China
 Colombia
 Costa Rica
 Croatia
 Cuba
 Cyprus (May 2014)
 Czech Republic
 Ecuador
 Egypt
 El Salvador
 Estonia
 Finland
 France
 Georgia
 Germany
 Greece
 Hong Kong
 Hungary
 Iceland
 India
 Indonesia
 Iran, Islamic Republic of
 Ireland
 Israel
 Italy
 Jamaica
 Japan
 Kazakhstan
 Korea, Republic of
 Kuwait (Jul 2013)
 Kyrgyzstan
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Macedonia
 Malaysia
 Malta
 Mexico
 Moldova, Republic of
 Morocco
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Norway
 Panama
 Philippines
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 Russian Federation
 Saudi Arabia
 Serbia
 Singapore
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 South Africa
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 Tajikistan
 Thailand
 Timor-Leste
 Trinidad and Tobago
 Tunisia
 Turkey
 Turkmenistan
 Ukraine
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom (Jun 2014)
 United States
 Uruguay
 Venezuela
 Vietnam

There are also several agreements between Spain and other jurisdictions which were signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after after 1 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):

 Dominican Republic
 Nigeria
 Pakistan
 Peru
 Senegal
 Uzbekistan (Jul 2013)

Information Exchange

There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:

  • spontaneously;
  • on request;
  • automatically.

Spontaneous exchange of information is provision of information that is forseeably relevant to another party without a request being previously sent.

Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.

Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.

Exchange on Request: 9 Signed Agreements

Spain signed TIEAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Andorra
 Aruba
 Azerbaijan
 Bahamas
 Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
 Curacao
 Denmark
 San Marino
 Sint Maarten (Dutch part)

Automatic Exchange: Starts in September 2017

Spain signed the automatic information exchange agreement on 29 October 2014 and committed to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.

Automatic Excnange: 58 Bilateral Agreements to Receive Information

Spain has signed bilateral agreements with 58 jurisdictions to automatically receive information:

 Andorra
 Argentina
 Australia
 Austria
 Belgium
 Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
 Brazil
 Bulgaria
 Canada
 China
 Colombia
 Croatia
 Cyprus
 Czech Republic
 Denmark
 Estonia
 Faroe Islands
 Finland
 France
 Germany
 Gibraltar
 Greece
 Greenland
 Guernsey
 Hungary
 Iceland
 India
 Ireland
 Isle of Man
 Italy
 Japan
 Jersey
 Korea, Republic of
 Latvia
 Liechtenstein
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Malaysia
 Malta
 Mauritius
 Mexico
 Monaco
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Norway
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 San Marino
 Seychelles
 Singapore
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 South Africa
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 United Kingdom
 Uruguay

Automatic Excnange: 67 Bilateral Agreements to Send Information

Spain has signed bilateral agreements with 67 jurisdictions to automatically send information:

 Andorra
 Anguilla
 Argentina
 Australia
 Austria
 Belgium
 Bermuda
 Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
 Brazil
 British Virgin Islands
 Bulgaria
 Canada
 Cayman Islands
 China
 Colombia
 Croatia
 Cyprus
 Czech Republic
 Denmark
 Estonia
 Faroe Islands
 Finland
 France
 Germany
 Gibraltar
 Greece
 Greenland
 Guernsey
 Hungary
 Iceland
 India
 Indonesia
 Ireland
 Isle of Man
 Italy
 Japan
 Jersey
 Korea, Republic of
 Latvia
 Liechtenstein
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Malaysia
 Malta
 Mauritius
 Mexico
 Monaco
 Montserrat
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Norway
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
 Samoa
 San Marino
 Seychelles
 Singapore
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 South Africa
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 Turks and Caicos Islands
 United Kingdom
 Uruguay

Further Information

FATCA

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which became law in the United States in March 2010, focuses on reporting made by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The FATCA-reporting is facilitated by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).

FATCA Status in Spain
IGA in effect since 14 May 2013, Model 1

Spain has FATCA agreement with the U.S. in effect since 14 May 2013 (Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1). Financial institutions operating in Spain are required to identify U.S. taxpayers by January 1, 2017 and to report the information for 2017 and the subsequent years. The agreement is reciprocal: Spanish financial accounts hold in U.S. financial institutions will be reported to Spanish authorities.

Further Information

Financial Market Development

Financial Market Development
4.0 (max 7.0), 68th out of 138 countries
Banks' Soundness
4.6 (max 7.0), 80th out of 138 countries

According to World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, financial market development in Spain is scored 4.0 out of maximum 7.0 and ranked 68th out of 138 analysed economies, trustworthiness and confidence of financial market is scored 4.2 (76th place).

Financial Market Development in Spain.

Chart 5. Financial Market Development in Spain. Source: WEF.


Soundness of banks is scored 4.6 bringing Spain into the 80th place.

Soundness of Banks in Spain.

Chart 6. Soundness of Banks in Spain. Source: WEF.

Further Information

Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Maximum Protected Amount
100 000 EUR

Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.

From a depositor's point of view it is important to know:

  • if the depositor is eligible within the terms of the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • if the depositor's bank is a participant in the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • if the depositor's type of deposit is covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.

All these details about deposit guarantee scheme in Spain are summarised in Table 2.

Scheme Participantsall credit institutions operating in Spain, branches of non-EU banks, branches of Spanish banks abroad
Scheme Exemptionsbranches of EU-banks (covered by their home countries)
Eligible Depositorsnatural persons, legal entities
Covered Accountscredit balances on accounts, nominative deposit certificates constituted in the EU
Covered Currenciesall
Maximum Protected Amount100 000 EUR
Paid In CurrencyEUR

Table 2. Deposit guarantee scheme in Spain.

Further Information

Country Ceiling for Deposits

Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.

Local Currency (Euro) Foreign Currency
Aa2 (high grade) Aa2 (high grade)

Local currency (Euro) deposit ceiling for Spain is set to Aa2 (high grade), foreign currency deposit ceiling is Aa2 (high grade).

Deposit Rates

Average Deposit Rate (Aug 2017, EUR)
0.09 % (unchanged)
In Aug 2017, an agreed annualised deposit rate in local currency (Euro) of new contracts with agreed maturity up to 1 year between credit institutions and households was 0.09% which was below the Euro Area average (0.36%).
Deposit Rates in Spain.

Chart 7. Deposit Rates in Spain. Source: ECB.

Further Information

Banking Sector Structure

Number of Banks
260
Consolidated Assets (2016)
3 591.24 bln EUR  (-2.00%)
Recent Changes (2016)
new banks: 2, closed banks: 11

Currently there are 260 credit institutions operating in Spain.

In 2016 consolidated banking assets in Spain were 3 591.24 bln EUR. The consolidated banking assets' evolution is shown at Chart 8 below.

Consolidated banking assets in Spain.

Chart 8. Consolidated banking assets in Spain.

Recent structural changes (2013 - 2016) of the banking sector of Spain are summarised in Table 3.

2013201420152016
Number of Opened Banks2642
Number of Closed Banks11211311

Table 3. Recent structural changes in the banking sector of Spain.

The list of the most recently opened banks in Spain is provided in Table 4.

NameStart Date
 RBC Europe Limited. S.E (new)July 2016
 Unicredit. S.P.A. S.E (new)January 2016
 ABN AMRO BANK N.V.. S.E (closed)December 2015
 CM-CIC Bail. S.E. (new)September 2015
 Banca Farmafactoring. SPA Suc en España (new)May 2015
 China Construction Bank (Europe). S.A.. S.E (new)March 2015
 Mirabaud & CIE (Europe), S.A., S.E. (new)December 2014
 Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Ltd., S.E. (new)December 2014
 A&G Banca Privada, S.A. (new)July 2014
 Banca Popolare Etica Sociedad Cooperativa Per Aziones, S.E. (new)July 2014
 

Table 4. The most recently opened banks in Spain.

All the credit institutions operating in Spain can be classified into several categories. Table 5 summarises the number of banks in each category.

CategoryNumber of Banks
Banks67
Branches of foreign banks83
Central banks1
Cooperative banks58
Savings banks1
Specialized credit institutions50

Table 5. Number of banks by category in Spain.

There are 86 branches of foreign banks from 15 different countries in Spain. Table 6 shows 10 countries having the biggest number of branches in Spain.

Country of OriginNumber of Branches
 France21
 Luxembourg13
 Germany11
 United Kingdom10
 Portugal8
 Italy6
 Netherlands6
 Ireland4
 Belgium1
 Austria1

Table 6. Number of branches of foreign banks in Spain grouped by country of origin.

Major Banks of Spain

RankName
1 Banco Santander, S.A.
2 Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.
3 Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona (closed)
4 Banco Popular Espanol
 

Banco Santander, S.A.

Established in 1857, Banco Santander is now the largest bank in Spain in terms of total assets. The bank's main business activity is retail banking which provides more than a half of the bank's income. Banco Santander, S.A. is the head bank of Santander Group (Spain).

Services
Retail Banking
Private Banking
Corporate Banking
Insurance

Retail Banking Products

In 2016 total assets of Banco Santander, S.A. were 461,24 bln EUR. In 2016 the bank's net income was 2 481,31 mln EUR.

Banco Santander, S.A. is rated by Fitch, Moody's. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is A- (high credit quality). Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Moody's is A3 (upper medium grade). Banco Santander, S.A. participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Spain. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is one of the largest Spanish banks, operating as a global universal bank and offering retail, private, corporate and investment banking products and services to its customers.

Services
Retail Banking
Private Banking
Corporate Banking
Investment Banking

Retail Banking Products

In 2016 total assets of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) were 418,45 bln EUR. In 2016 the bank's net income was 1 662,41 mln EUR.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is rated by Fitch, Moody's. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is A- (high credit quality). Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Moody's is A3 (upper medium grade). Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Spain. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.

Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona

On June 30, 2011 all the banking business of La Caixa, including consumer banking, private banking and asset management was transferred to CaixaBank.

Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona is rated by Fitch. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is BBB- (good credit quality). Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Spain. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.

Banco Popular Espanol

Banco Popular Espanol was founded in 1926. The bank is now one of the largest banks in Spain and is specializing in retail and corporate banking products and services.

Services
Retail Banking
Corporate Banking
Online Brokerage
Insurance

Retail Banking Products

In 2016 total assets of Banco Popular Espanol were 138,30 bln EUR. In 2016 the bank's net income was -3 222,32 mln EUR.

Banco Popular Espanol is rated by Fitch, Moody's. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is BB- (speculative). Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Moody's is Ba1 (non-investment grade speculative). Banco Popular Espanol participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Spain. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.

Current Accounts: 8 Offers from 8 Banks

Interest Rates: 0.00 - 0.00 % p.a.
Overdraft Rates: 0.00 - 11.39 % p.a.
Annual Costs: 0.00 - 80.00 EUR

8 current accounts offers from 8 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The interest rates (per annum) are within the range 0.00 - 0.00 %,the overdraft rates (per annum) - 0.00 - 11.39 %, the annual costs - 0.00 - 80.00 EUR.

View All Offers
Lowest Annual Costs Offer: Cuenta Joven (Abanca Corporación Bancaria, S.A.)
Interest Rate: 0.00 % p.a.
Overdraft Rate: 0.00 % p.a.
Annual Costs: 0.00 EUR

Abanca Corporación Bancaria (ABANCA) is a Spanish bank, established in 2011. The bank provides retail and corporate banking services.

Savings Accounts: 43 Offers from 8 Banks

Interest Rates: 0.05 - 2.02 % p.a.
Account Terms: 1 - 12 months

43 savings accounts offers from 8 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The savings accounts terms vary from 1 month to 1 years (12 months). The interest rates are within the range 0.05 - 2.02 %.

View All Offers
Highest Interest Rate Offer: Cuenta Bienvenida (Open Bank, S.A.)
Interest Rate: 2.02 % p.a.
Account Term: 1 months

Established in 1994, Open Bank was the first bank in Spain offering telephone and Internet banking and thus significantly reducing costs of the daily operations. Open Bank is a member of Santander Group.

Time Deposit Accounts: 38 Offers from 7 Banks

Interest Rates: 0.02 - 4.00 % p.a.
Deposit Terms: 1 - 120 months

38 time deposit accounts offers from 7 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The time deposit accounts terms vary from 1 month to 10 years (120 months).The interest rates are within the range 0.02 - 4.00 %.

View All Offers
Highest Interest Rate Offer: Depósitos (Banco Mediolanum, S.A.)
Interest Rate: 4.00 % p.a.
Deposit Term: 6 months

Banco Mediolanum is a direct bank, running an innovative business model of banking without traditional offices. Banco Mediolanum provides retail banking products and rervices. Banco Mediolanum assignes a consultant to every customer, so its customers enjoy personalized service and easy access to the bank available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Credit Cards: 14 Offers from 13 Banks

Annual Costs: 0.00 - 121.50 EUR

14 credit cards offers from 13 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The annual costs of the credit cards are within the range of 0.00 - 121.50 EUR.

View All Offers
Lowest Annual Costs Offer: Visa Evo Finance Clásica (Evo Banco S.A.)
Annual Costs: 0.00 EUR

Evo Banco positions itself as a bank offering a new intelligent banking: simple, transparent and innovative. Evo Banco offers its clients ease, flexibility and convenience of an on-line bank and the proximity and professionalism of a large network of offices. Evo Banco specializes in retail banking products and services.

Consumer Loans: 10 Offers from 2 Banks

Borrowing Rates: 7.88 - 25.83 %
Loan Terms: 1 - 60 months

10 consumer loans offers from 2 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The consumer loans terms vary from 1 month to 5 years (60 months).The effective borrowing rates are within the range 7.88 - 25.83 %.

View All Offers
Lowest Borrowing Rate Offer: Préstamo nómina (Banco Popular Español, S.A.)
Borrowing Rate: 7.88 %
Loan Term: 1 months

Banco Popular Espanol was founded in 1926. The bank is now one of the largest banks in Spain and is specializing in retail and corporate banking products and services.

Car Loans: 10 Offers from 2 Banks

Borrowing Rates: 7.88 - 25.83 %
Loan Terms: 1 - 60 months

10 car loans offers from 2 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The car loans terms vary from 1 month to 5 years (60 months).The effective borrowing rates are within the range 7.88 - 25.83 %.

View All Offers
Lowest Borrowing Rate Offer: Préstamo nómina (Banco Popular Español, S.A.)
Borrowing Rate: 7.88 %
Loan Term: 1 months

Banco Popular Espanol was founded in 1926. The bank is now one of the largest banks in Spain and is specializing in retail and corporate banking products and services.

Trading Accounts: 17 Offers from 16 Banks

Annual Costs: 10.00 - 200.00 EUR
Costs per Order: 2.50 - 12.00 EUR

17 trading accounts offers from 16 banks operating in Spain are currently available. The trading accounts annual costs vary from 10.00 to 200.00 EUR, costs per order are within the range 2.50 - 12.00 EUR.

View All Offers
Lowest Annual Costs Offer: Broker NARANJA (ING Bank, N.V. S.E)
Annual Costs: 10.00 EUR
Costs per Order: 8.00 EUR

ING Bank is a member of ING Group, a financial company specializing in insurance and banking. ING Bank is a universal bank offering a wide range of products and services to individuals, families, small businesses, large corporations, financial institutions, governments, public and private institutions and supranational bodies. ING Bank is a market leader in "Benelux" countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) where it currently has strong market positions in retail and commercial banking. ING Bank, N.V. S.E operates as a branch of ING Bank N.V. (Netherlands).