Many readers have contacted me over the last few weeks asking about their banks and an e-mail or letter they have received from them. Some banks were asking for NIE, passports and even salary slips. This led to many people thinking it was some sort of scam. However in most cases it is not.
A law which is bringing Spanish banks in line with most European banking will come into force on May 1st. The law called Ley 10/2010 actually dates from 29th April 2010 and is to prevent money laundering and use of accounts by terrorist groups. All account owners have to be accurately identified. In most cases this was already being done by banks but for many non-resident clients their lawyer opened the account with a power of attorney and a copy of their passport.
So if your bank in Spain doesn’t have your NIE and current passport they can freeze your account as of May the first. Some banks are allowing copies to be e-mailed to them directly while other only accepts hard copies. Please make sure you send this information to the correct address.
If your account does get blocked you can re-activate it within 24 hours by sending in the required documentation.