A new mandate has been issued by banks in line with Law 10/2010 on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism. This law requires banks to hold copies of their customers valid and in-date ID on-file and to contact any customer with an incomplete file so that a copy of  the relevant documents can be promptly provided. Banks must contact the affected customers via letter, email or SMS but if you do not receive notification, it means the bank is already in possession of your details, even so, it may be a good idea to double check your status just in case.

The accounts of any customer who does not submit their paperwork on time will be deactivated on the 1st May 2015 rendering any credit and debit cards inoperable and preventing access to online banking systems. However, if the necessary details are made available within three months from the 30th April, the account can easily be reactivated. After this period, things will become more complicated because the account will form part of the banks’ Memorandum Accounts but that does not mean the loss of  the balance that existed at the time of closure.

This is not a new law by any means, banks have had the obligation to store copies of their customers’ ID since the year 1993, however, the above-mentioned law that came into effect in 2010 states they have a new obligation to preserve digital copies to prevent loss or deterioration of hard copies. The law allowed a 5 year period in order to give banks time to organise their departments and fulfil their obligations and this period comes to an end on 30th April 2015. Recent changes to the configuration of Spanish bank accounts from the traditional 20 digit bank account number to the current European standard of 24 digits are another reason why they have been ordered to comply with this law.


The measure being enforced is an attempt to further prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism

The measure being enforced is an attempt to further prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism

Statistics show that in Spain there are some 70 million bank accounts in existence, 50 million of which belong to individuals as opposed to businesses and banks used this fact to try to obtain an extension on these administrative obligations but their request was denied because the Economic Minister felt that it is their responsibility to ensure that all customers are correctly identified and the origin of funds is known.

If you prefer to avoid possible interruptions in the use of your bank account, check in with your bank and make sure they have all the information they require to maintain your account active.

About Sabrina L. Williams

Although I was born in the UK, I moved to the Canary Islands, Spain at a young age and I haven't looked back. The Canaries is a fantastic place to live, I mean you can do all types of outdoor activities practically all year round because of the great weather. Horses are my poison but the islands are also a superb spot for water sports so they do attract a lot of attention from people around the world. Anyway, enough about that. Back in 2011, I made one of the biggest, scariest yet best decisions I'd ever made and set-up my own business in the middle of a recession. I love what I do as no two days are the same, plus Spanish law keeps me on my toes as it is constantly changing (often without warning!) so there is always something new to learn. As I've branched out in the world of Administrative Consultancy, I decided to create a blog to discuss topics of interest to others in my industry and my clients, share tips and experiences, to see what new ideas people have for improving their businesses and the like so I hope you'll find the time to join me on this venture...

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