In theory, you can open a non-resident bank account with a passport. You may have to try several banks as some won’t do it without a NIE certificate. Commissions are high, so swap over to a resident’s account as soon as you can.
Which Gran Canaria bank to choose?
There isn’t much between them, but bear these factors in mind.
Smaller banks have few cashpoints and charges for withdrawing money can be eye-watering.
Some banks, such as Santander, don’t charge monthly commissions if you pay in your salary or pension.
Queues in bank branches get long, so pick a bank with a decent online banking system.
Here’s a selection of the main banks in Gran Canaria
Bankia has more offices and cashpoints than any other Gran Canaria bank. Big branches have English-speaking staff and there is English speaking telephone support and English internet banking.
Santander Central Hispano
The same company as Santander in the UK, but you can’t transfer an account or anything convenient like that. Santander has plenty of Gran Canaria branches, a decent network of ATMs, and offers commission-free banking if you have a salary. It even pays interest on your current account balance.
Santander has plenty of Gran Canaria branches, a decent network of ATMs, and offers commission-free banking if you have a salary. It even pays interest on your current account balance.
Dutch bank with a couple of Las Palmas branches. ING has an excellent online bank system and even decent queue management in its branches. A good mortgage option.
A specialist online bank with a handy branch on Mesa y Lopez.
Like Santander, but blue instead of red.
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.