Services

Foreign institutions through branches, freedom to provide services or representative offices

In addition to the creation of a subsidiary, foreign credit institutions can operate in Spain by opening a branch or under the freedom to provide services. The procedure applicable depends on whether or not the credit institution is authorised in another Member State of the European Union.

Credit institutions authorised in another EU Member State

The arrangements applicable to the opening of branches and the freedom to provide services in Spain of credit institutions of another Member State of the European Union are included in: Article 12 of Law 10/2014 of 26 June 2014Opens in a new window on the regulation, supervision and solvency of credit institutions; Article 16 of Royal Decree 84/2015 of 13 February 2015Opens in a new window implementing the aforementioned law; and Rule 3 of Banco de España Circular 2/2016 of 2 February 2016Opens in a new window to credit institutions on supervision and solvency, which completes the adaptation of Spanish law to Directive 2013/36/EU and to Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

Applications for the opening of branches and the exercise of the freedom to provide services must be addressed to the home supervisor of the credit institution, which will send them to the Banco de España.

Before commencing their activities, the branches must be registered in the Banco de España's Credit Institutions Register. The registration formalities and the documentation to be submitted are detailed in the "Registration of supervised institutions" procedure of the Banco de España Virtual Office. In the case of the exercise of the freedom to provide services, they may commence their activities in Spain, once the Banco de España has received the related notification from the supervisory authority.

The above arrangements shall also be applicable to the opening of branches or the exercise of the freedom to provide services in Spain by financial institutions of another European Union Member State, be they a subsidiary of a credit institution or a jointly-owned  subsidiary of two or more credit institutions, provided that the requirements laid down in Article 12(4) of Law 10/2014 of 26 June 2014Opens in a new window are complied with.

Credit institutions not authorised in an EU Member State

The arrangements applicable to the opening of branches and the exercise of the freedom to provide services in Spain of credit institutions of a State that is not a member of the European Union are included in: Article 13 of Law 10/2014 of 26 June 2014Opens in a new window on the regulation, supervision and solvency of credit institutions; Article 17 of Royal Decree 84/2015 of 13 February 2015Opens in a new window implementing the aforementioned law; and Rule 4 of Banco de España Circular 2/2016 of 2 February 2016Opens in a new window to credit institutions on supervision and solvency, which completes the adaptation of Spanish law to Directive 2013/36/EU and to Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

The authorisation requirements are similar to those applicable to an authorisation of a credit institution, it being important that the credit institution is able to evidence that the principles of equivalence and of reciprocity are complied with.

The application must be addressed to the Banco de España which is responsible for taking a decision on the application.

The application for authorisation shall include the documentation mentioned in the authorisation procedure for the creation of banksOpens in a new window adapted as necessary, to the specific features of a branch or to the freedom to provide services, as appropriate.

Representative Offices

Furthermore, the regulations envisage that credit institutions authorised in other countries (whether or not they are EU members) may set up representative offices in Spain, whose activity consists of providing information or commercial services relating to banking, financial or economic matters. The establishment of representative offices by credit institutions authorised in non-EU Member States requires the authorisation of the Banco de España, which is also responsible for taking a decision, in accordance with the provisions of Article 19 of Royal Decree 84/2015 of 13 February 2015Opens in a new window, implementing Law 10/2014 of 26 June 2014 on the regulation, supervision and solvency of credit institutions.

Contact Us

Authorisations

Official Register

ALSO OF INTEREST...