Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a very British view of life in a small village in Alicante province, my experience of Spain, of Spaniards and sometimes of the other Britons who live nearby. The tabs beneath the header photo link to other blogs written whilst I was living in other parts of Spain, to my articles written for the now defunct TIM magazine and to my most recent photo albums.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I have complained before about the banks in Spain. I'm going to do it again.

When I was in Ciudad Rodrigo I opened an account with a bank called Banesto. It didn't go smoothly. Despite several visits they never managed to transfer my direct debits successfully and they lied to me about commission charges. I asked about charges before opening the account and I was given a list. The list did not mention that every Internet transfer would cost 2€. "Ah, that's not a commission, that's a service charge."

As much as anything I chose Banesto because there is a branch in Pinoso. At least there was. It was closed down the week before we got back. There is, however, an agency with the Banesto sign and there is a note on the old bank office to say that business can be transacted in the agency. "Can I get money out of my account here?" I asked, "Of course:" But it wasn't true. If my account had been in Pinoso I could have got to my money but as it was in Ciudad Rodrigo my options were to go to the bank machine of another bank - where there is a charge - or to drive to Monóvar some 14kms away.

I got very cross and in shameful, grammatically inept, Spanish I complained loudly. "The sign says Banesto, my bank book says Banesto but I can't get my money. It's always the same, every time a little trick to siphon off a euro here and a euro there. You're a bunch of liars and thieves!

I could see the looks of complete disbelief between the two women on the other side of the desk. What was wrong with this Brit, who couldn't speak properly, making such a fuss over a commission charge of 1.43€? So far, this year, two accounts, both continuosly in credit have had attracted charges of 180€.

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