Branches of foreign credit institutions

These are the non-Spanish credit institutions that operate in Spain. These institutions can operate either by opening a branch in Spain or by availing themselves of the freedom to provide services:

Institutions authorized in another Member State of the European Union.

No Member State of the European Union can object to credit institutions from other Member States operating in its territory (the principle of a single licence or 'community passport'). This implies that:

  • As soon as the Banco de España has been notified by the institution’s supervisory authority in its country of origin in the European Union and has received the necessary information the institution can engage in banking business in Spain.
  • Credit institutions from elsewhere in the EU are required to belong to a deposit guarantee fund ensuring the same minimum deposit refund conditions as those applicable to a Spanish institution.
  • The guarantee fund to which the credit institution belongs, normally, that of the country of origin, will be responsible for safeguarding customer deposits in the event of solvency problems.

Credit institutions not authorised in another European Union country.

Credit institutions from non-EU countries do not benefit from the 'community passport'. This implies that:

  • To operate in Spain through branches they need prior authorisation, via a similar (but not identical) procedure as that to establish a new bank in Spain.
  • They must join the Spanish Deposit Guarantee FundAbre en ventana nueva if there is no guarantee scheme in their country of origin or if the protection it offers is less than that of the Spanish system.
  • They may be given authorisation to operate in Spain under the freedom to provide services (without any branches), although in this case they cannot take deposits from the public.
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