Spain Explained

Transferring money from Spain

Last updated on October 28th, 2019 at 04:32 pm.

In the anxiety to sell your Spanish home you can neglect to consider how you will transfer the money back to your home country once the sale is complete. It’s understandable that other priorities engage you. Will the sale go through? Has all the correct paper work been completed? Are there any loose ends you now need to tidy?

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However, failing to make the right decision about transferring money from Spain can cost you dearly. It comes as quite a surprise to many of our clients just how much the cost of international transfer can be. There are two ways in which it’s usually done:

  1. by taking the banker’s draft received at the Notary to a Spanish bank and paying it into a Spanish bank account ready to transfer
  2. by taking the banker’s draft back to the home country and placing it directly into a bank account there

Both can be costly transactions. For example, if you place a banker’s draft in your own Spanish bank account you might be charged around 0.6% on the amount you deposit. The bank will then decide when to make the exchange. The priority for you is a favourable exchange rate. The bank will have priorities of its own. When the money is finally transferred you can expect another charge from the receiving bank. Again, this can be between 0.6 and 1%.

The other option preferred by some, is to take the cheque back to their home country. However, this process is a long one and, again, potentially expensive. Once you have placed the cheque in your account it will be sent back to Madrid where it could be held for up to 5 or 6 weeks. You will then be charged between 150€ and 200€ for every 1,000€ you have deposited. When it is finally exchanged, you will have no control over the exchange rate which will be decided by the bank.

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Financially, neither alternative is particularly attractive. A reason why the transfer of money between countries is a growing business. There are a number of companies who provide alternative means of making international transfers. These companies, often arrange special terms and conditions that allow you to have some control over the rate of exchange and generally aim to keep banking costs to a minimum.

The main message is, if you are considering transferring a large sum of money don’t let deciding how to do this be the bottom of your list of priorities.

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17 October, 2021 2:30 pm

Hello Caroline,
A very interesting article, thanks very much. Could you recommend how to find… those “companies who provide alternative means of making international transfers” that you referred to? Is Abaco one of them that one could use? Many thanks, Ana.

Oscar Paoli

19 October, 2021 7:38 am

Hi Ana,
We do recommend a company called Currencies Direct. Their website is the following:
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Ana Smith

21 October, 2021 12:39 pm

Hello Oscar,
Thank you very much for the reply and the name of the company.
I have another query.
I have heard that Spanish banks might request “paperwork” to their clients when they see a large amount of money from abroad entering into their Spanish bank account (asking them for information regarding that money). Can Abaco help with any forms, or letters, that the bank may request, or that the Spanish tax authorities may request?
Thanks very much,

Oscar Paoli

25 October, 2021 8:57 pm

Dear Mrs. Smith,

That is correct, they can ask for these documents, unfortunately we do not deal with this process.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers