As a foreigner in Spain it is possible to open a bank account and to take out a Spanish mortgage. Because there is little transparency in Spanish banks, we recommend you to contract a professional intermediary. This is of extra importance especially if you do not fully understand the language and the local customs.
Spanish banks – before the crisis
The Spanish banking market was conducted by a range of saving banks (45 Cajas) and banks until about 2010 – 2011. Cajas were often smaller, local savings banks. These savings banks have grown enormously over the years and in particular the last 10 years before the crisis. This growth came from the demand for new homes and projects. The savings banks had done the utmost in this sector and had financed everything possible. When the real estate bubble burst in Spain, these savings banks got into very serious financial trouble.
The Spanish government has had to save a couple of savings banks, like Bankia and CAM, and forced them to merge. The healthy banks have merged with smaller savings banks and have ‘retrained’ themselves to bank, like CaixaBank. Resulting in the current situation:
Spanish banks – after the crisis
Currently, there are 12 banks and only 2 smaller savings banks in Spain namely Caixa Pollenca and Caixa Ontinyent. These are two smaller local savings banks on Mallorca and in Valencia. The merger period is still going on in Spain and it is likely that several more banks will take each other over. We will get to a situation which is comparable to other Northern European countries: the market will be determined by a couple of 4, 5 or 6 big players.
Through our years of experience with the financial sector, we have been able to establish a very good relationship with most of the Spanish banks. Still we do have our preferred banks. These are banks that are internationally oriented with multilingual staff.
It is of additional importance that Spanish banks understand complex mortgage files of our customers. This requires years of intensive cooperation. Following the crisis, WeCare Mortgages remains a reliable and important partner for the Spanish banks with very positive actual performance.
WeCare Mortgages assists with mortgages across Spain, including the islands like Ibiza, Mallorca and Tenerife. Our cooperative banks have a large network of branches and online user capabilities.