What are free basic accounts and what are the requirements to open one? | Companies

Although it is an unknown banking product among the general public, in Spain there is the possibility of contracting a free basic bank account. Thanks to regulations promoted by the European Union with the aim of avoiding financial exclusion, you can open an account with which to carry out the most basic financial operations without paying commissions.

What are basic payment accounts?

Basic payment accounts are a type of free account that entities in the European Union are obliged to offer to promote financial inclusion. What is sought is to facilitate access for consumers, especially vulnerable groups, to basic banking services considered essential

What free services are included?

Through these basic accounts you can access essential financial operations: fund deposits, cash withdrawals, direct debit receipts and make payments by debit or prepaid card or transfers within the European Union.

What requirements must be met to obtain a basic account?

The basic accounts can be requested by all individuals and adults who do not have any other bank account in Spain, who do not use the account for their professional activity (it cannot be used to manage a business, but it can be used to receive payroll) and who are residents of the European Union.

Are they commission-free?

There are two types of basic payment accounts. The first of them entails the collection of a maximum commission of three euros per month (36 euros per year) and the operation is limited to 120 operations per year. For vulnerable groups or groups at risk of financial exclusion, there is another basic account that is completely free and does not entail any type of commission.

What conditions must be met to obtain total gratuity?

To obtain the completely free basic account, the client must prove this vulnerability condition. For this you have to meet two basic requirements. The first, prove low income:

  • 2 times the IPREM for people not integrated into any family unit.
  • 2.5 times the IPREM for people integrated into a family unit of less than 4 members.
  • 3 times the IPREM for people integrated into a family unit of 4 members or more or who have the status of a large family, or in the case of family units that have a person with an officially recognized degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

The second condition implies that none of the members that make up the family unit are owners or have any real right over real estate other than the habitual residence, or over commercial companies.

Which banks offer basic accounts?

All entities that offer payment accounts are required to offer basic payment accounts. In addition, as detailed by the Bank of Spain, banks must not only offer this type of product “without conditioning their contracting to the subscription of other services”, but also to make them known and inform about their characteristics.

Is it interesting to open a basic account?

In general, anyone can open a basic account as long as they do not already have another account open in Spain. In any case, most banks (especially digital ones or those that offer a 100% digital account) already offer free accounts without commissions. In addition, it is common for them to be exempt from commissions or that they are not paid with the sole condition of having a payroll or direct debit pension. For this reason, the basic accounts are specially digested for vulnerable groups.


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