A guide to banking in Gran Canaria, which banks to use in Gran Canaria and how to set up a bank account in Gran Canaria.
Setting up a bank account here is a doddle. Just go into your nearest bank and give them your NIE number and passport and a proof of address (utility bill, rent contract) and you’ll have a bank account. The question is which bank should you choose? To be honest there’s not much difference between them if you just need a simple bank account but below is a list of the main ones.
La Caja de Canarias
The Canarian bank, it has more offices than any other bank in the Canary Islands, English speakers in most branches, English speaking telephone support and English internet banking. The only problem is they don’t give you a visa card by default so internet shopping may be a problem if you don’t have a paypal account. Having said that if you pay your nominas (payslips) in they will give you a credit card with a small limit.
Caja Rural de Canarias
Another Canarian bank, which is pretty much identical to La Caja although the support in English s not as good.
Big national bank that offers the same as most other banks, it does have Internet and telephone support in English though.
Massive national bank with English support via the telephone and English online banking. Just like any other bank but as it's so big it is not as friendly as the Canarian ones.
Another massive national bank, with English support on the website and telephone, on the front door of each local branch they have flags showing which languages are spoken. ONe big advantage is that you get a Visa card as standard, it is a wierd credit card that you pay back weekly so you can go on a shopping spree seven days before you receive your paycheck.
A huge international bank that owns various British companies and sponsors Fernando Alonso. Pretty much the same as BBVA.
The same company as Barclays in the UK, but you wouldn’t know it. If you have a UK Barclays account there is no advantage opening a Spanish Barclays account.
If you have had any experience with bank accounts in the Canary Islands that you think would benefit our readers please leave a comment below. Thanks.