Unclaimed balances

Under Spanish law an account is considered unclaimed after 20 years has elapsed since the last transaction by the account holder. The outstanding balance becomes the property of the State..

If there has been no activity by the account holder for 20 years, the bank may consider the account unclaimed, in which case the outstanding balance passes to the State. But first, it must:

  • Verify and ensure the holder has not made any transfer or performed any transactions using the account.
  • Notify the account holder at least three months before the end of the 20-year period, such as by registered post to the address held by the bank. This notification must indicate that no financial transactions have been made, and inform the holder of how long before the account will be considered unclaimed. No notification will be sent if the cost of doing so is expected to exceed the remaining balance in the account.
  • Send the account holders or their heirs, if requested, a certificate attesting that the funds have been handed over to central government, specifically indicating the date of the declaration and the local Economy and Finance Ministry office.
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