FAQs about how the regulatory and disciplinary rules for supervised entities are interpreted and applied


This section contains some FAQs on the different criteria resulting from the external enquiries resolved by the Banco de España about how the regulatory and disciplinary rules for entities supervised by the Banco de España are interpreted and applied. It does not include any criteria relating to market conduct, bank transparency and customer protection or accounting regulations.


The content provided in this section has no legal effect. This section aims to disclose the interpretation criteria that the Banco de España considers appropriate for the purpose of complying with the regulatory and disciplinary rules applicable to the entities that it supervises.

These criteria are general guidelines, and their application in each case therefore requires a detailed, individual assessment of the specific circumstances. Additionally, these criteria may be subject to further reviews and updates on an ongoing basis, either as a result of enquiries made to the Banco de España or to ensure their consistency with other criteria issued by the Banco de España or by the competent European bodies or authorities. In such cases, the date of review of the relevant interpretation criteria will be indicated for reference purposes.

These criteria apply without prejudice to any rules on consumer protection, anti-money laundering, securities markets or any other relevant laws or regulations that may also be applicable to the activity in question, as well as any other civil, commercial, tax or other specific obligations or requirements in connection with the pursuit of such business or activity.


Are any of the following activities subject to prior administrative authorisation from the Banco de España: consumer lending, real estate leasing, factoring and the issuance of guarantees and commitments?

No. Although these activities are generally performed by credit institutions and specialised credit institutions (establecimientos financieros de crédito), they may be carried out by other (natural or legal) persons, and prior authorisation from the Banco de España is not necessary.

Payment services

General questions

Can account information service providers consolidate information on the payment accounts held by payment service users with credit institutions established in other EU Member States?

Yes. Account information services include consolidating the information on the payment accounts held by payment service users with other payment service providers, including credit institutions established in other EU Member States.

Yes. Account information service providers may carry out other business activities, subject to the relevant applicable legislation.

Sensitive payment data are those that may be used to commit fraud, including personalised security credentials. For the purposes of account information services, the name of the account owner and the account number are not considered sensitive payment data.

A payment institution can receive funds from a customer in a payment account for the purpose of executing future payment transactions, including as yet unspecified payment orders. In any event, the payment institution must safeguard such funds, pursuant to Article 21 of Royal Decree-Law 19/2018, and may not hold them longer than is strictly necessary to provide the payment service to the customer.


A company offers its clients (suppliers of goods or services to other end users/consumers) the possibility of collecting, in their name and on their behalf, payments from end users/consumers for the goods or services provided. Could it be understood that this company is an authorised commercial agent for those professional service providers, and that this activity is excluded from the scope of the legislation on payment services (Royal Decree-Law 19/2018)?

Activities solely entailing the collection of payments from end users, in the name and on behalf of professional service providers, are not sufficient grounds for exempting a company from payment services legislation under the exclusion for commercial agents. To qualify for such an exclusion, commercial agents must be authorised to negotiate or conclude the sale of goods or services on behalf of only the payer or only the payee.

The company would not be able to apply the exclusion for commercial agents, as it cannot negotiate or conclude the sale of tickets on behalf of the event organisers.

Yes. The company has an agreement with the landlord to negotiate or conclude, for the sole account of the latter, the lease agreement with the tenant.

No. Royal Decree-Law 19/2018 does not apply to services where cash is provided by the payee to the payer as part of a payment transaction following an explicit request by the payment service user just before the execution of the payment transaction through a payment for the purchase of goods or services.

Article 4(k)(1) of Royal Decree-Law 19/2018 may be applicable, provided that the use of the gift cards is limited to the company’s online store, its physical stores or its franchise stores. Nevertheless, the company must apply technical and contractual restrictions, to limit the use of the gift cards to the purchase of clothing in such stores.

Agents of payment institutions

Can a joint ownership (comunidad de bienes) be appointed as an agent of payment institutions and entered into the Banco de España’s special agents register?

Joint ownerships are not legal entities. They cannot be appointed as agents of payment institutions, nor can they be entered into the Banco de España’s special agents register.

Safeguarding requirements

Under Article 16(2) of Royal Decree 736/2019, the funds deposited in the separate account may be greater than those received from the payment service users or through another payment service provider. In these circumstances, is the prior notification obligation established in that provision limited to reporting the surplus of those funds in the separate account?

Yes. The Banco de España must be notified of the existence and amount of any surpluses. This obligation is not applicable to the funds received from payment service users or through another payment service provider for the purpose of executing payment transactions.