MADRID – Opening a bank account in Spain can be stressful and expensive. Many banks charge high administration costs for a bank account or making transfers. The average cost of maintaining a current account can even amount to €150 per year.
The cost of maintaining a regular current account with banks showed an increase of about 3.2% in recent months, according to data from the Association of Financial Users ASUFIN. Instead of showing restraint, despite the high-interest rates, the banks have increased these fees to an average of €145.8 per year.
Annual administration fees for accounts
Infobae writes that a year ago that figure was still below €141.3. Almost all Spanish banks choose to charge an annual account administration fee, some with higher rates and others with more affordable rates. Furthermore, banks also charge for using other institutions’ ATMs and for wire transfers to external customers.
Inequality between banks is increasing
Nevertheless, inequality between banks is widening. The companies with the highest maintenance costs are Santander, CaixaBank and Sabadell, with €240 euros per year. The ranking is closed by BBVA, with a fee of €160, followed by Abanca, which sets the fee at €124.
At the very other end of the list is Bankinter, which introduced a universal free calculation model this year, after scrapping the €120 commission that has been charged so far. Moreover, this makes it the first banking institution that does not charge such commissions. Also for this bank, the main model for attracting customers continues to charge commissions for accounts, with bonuses at different levels as long as there is some connection with the company.
Fifth largest financial institution in Spain
Bankinter, which leads the list of companies that charge the least commissions, charged a fee of €120 per year until a few months ago. The Madrid-based company is the fifth-largest financial institution in Spain by assets.
Other cheap admin fees
Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Unicaja, Deutsche Bank and Cajamar still charge an administration fee of €120 per year, which is €25 below the average.
Highest costs for transfers
The costs for regular transfers are generally getting lower. The only company that offers them for free is again Bankinter. The average of all banks, on the other hand, is €1.26 per transaction.
The banks that charge the most for instant transfers are Unicaja and Santander, with rates of €7 and €6 respectively. Whereas, Banco Sabadell charges €0.95 per transaction.