Which Spanish bank will not freeze my account?


Which Spanish bank will not freeze my account? I have had German and Italian bank accounts for five plus years and never had a problem. 

With less than six months, Santander has frozen my account twice. I can’t carry on like this. Reading other people’s posts, this seems standard operating procedure. 

I am worried about when my TIE really does expire next year and I can’t do anything about getting a new card with the current processing delays. 

Does anyone have a bank account that has not suffered these administrative problems?  Criteria – NIE holder, not a citizen and no citizen spouse, and not employed in Spain. I think we get red flagged because (in their eyes) we have no Spanish source of income (ergo, we must be drug dealers).


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“No problems (yet) with Openbank. My card was expired for 5 months while I renewed and I never heard a peep from them. Maybe I slipped through the cracks. Definitely don’t go with Caixa, as I know they block accounts like crazy.”

“Also never heard of N26 blocking accounts.”

“N26. I also have an account with BBVA and haven’t had any problems (yet)”

“I’ve heard of others on these forums saying that has happened to them, but it has not happened to me in the year I’ve been here in Madrid banking at Sabadell, fwiw. When I mentioned worrying it would happen because they were having trouble converting to a resident account once I got my TIE— something we still haven’t achieved after months and months of trying— the guy rolled his eyes and said that would never happen. But I can’t say they really inspire confidence if they can’t even change the ID on their account. Who knows! So anyway, that’s my data point!”

“I have Santander, but a non-resident account (and I pay a fee every month). But I have an expired TIE and access to my accounts.”

“We’ve had our Sabadell account for 10 years with no problem. Normally it’s only done when the authorities or the bank can’t get in touch with you to tell you of a debt. They don’t just rush to an embargo — it’s a last resort. So keep your contact details up to date.”

“Have had BBVA for a year now and no issues”

“Santander froze mine too and I can´t get it unfrozen.”

“I am a resident with a great job and great money married to a Spaniard and mine was blocked too.”

“Yes I have the same issue. They normally block my card so I am using neo banks such as starling, monzo and revolut instead as they frozen my card like 10 times over the years and always want me to come into the office despite being abroad.”

“I switched from La Caixa to ING late May/early June 2020. This past summer was my third as an ING account-holder, with 1.) no nómina coming in, & 2.) an expired TIE. They’ve never 1.) frozen my account, 2.) charged me ridiculous/hidden fees, or 3.) forced me to purchase any sort of insurance to be able to open an account with them. ING has never given me grief, & their banking hours are phenomenal.”

“N26 and openbank”

“if you have an income from abroad and you are not declaring that here, could be a reason as they freeze your account until you prove the source of the money via pay slips, pension certificate etc,”

Check this Spainguru blog post: “Alternatives to a traditional Spanish bank account and money transfer services”