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Opening direct accounts

What are direct accounts?

Direct accounts are securities accounts opened at Banco de España to keep the State debt balances in book entries for their holders.

These balances of securities remain segregated by direct account in the name of their holders in the register of third parties of Banco de España.

Only those natural or legal persons resident in Spain who cannot be authorised to operate directly through the registered Spanish public debt markets may be holders of direct accounts.

Under no circumstances may the holder of a direct account open a cash account at Banco de España in the name of the holder of the direct account.

Banco de España may refuse to open or withdraw a direct account when the holder(s) do not make the payments corresponding to their awarded subscription requests within the established time limits, or when their action compromise the proper functioning of the Direct Account Service.

Face-to-face service at Banco de España's offices for any procedure related to direct accounts will require a prior appointmentOpens in new window.

How to open a direct account

All holders of a direct account opened at the Banco de España must be Resident in Spain. 

The opening of a direct account by natural persons will take place as a result of:

  1. Direct subscription of government debt in person at the Banco de España, by prior appointment, or through the Treasury's website (
  2. The transfer of securities balances from an entity participating in the Spanish public debt markets (bank, savings bank, etc.) to the Banco de España-Cuentas Directas.
  3. Acquisitions "mortis causa" by heirs or legatees of book-entry government debt balances that were already registered with the Banco de España in the name of the deceased.

The opening of a direct account in the name of a legal entity may only be carried out in person, by prior appointment, at any branch of the Banco de España. Well in advance of the date of the appointment, the company must have physically presented a letter addressed to the Legal Department of the Banco de España at the Official Registry of the Banco de España , requesting the opening of the direct account and attaching the original documentation detailed in the following section.

What information must be provided?

All the holders, both natural and legal persons, must designate the authorized persons in the account who will have signature recognized in the Banco de España, providing their full names and telephone numbers; likewise, they must designate the creditor account at the payment service provider where the amounts of amortization, interests, surpluses... will be credited; for this purpose, a hard copy proof of the ownership of this account must be provided in which the IBAN code appears.

(IMPORTANT: the ownership of this bank account and that of the direct account must be identical).

In addition, the following original documentation must be provided:

  1. For natural persons: the tax identification number (NIF) of each holder or official document in force that in the opinion of the Banco de España proves both their identity and their residence in Spain.
    The ownership of direct accounts opened by natural persons may be individual (a single holder) or joint (two or more holders). All account holders must sign in the presence of the Banco de España employee when they attend the requested appointment. In order to facilitate the management of the account, the account holders may enter into an agreement with the Banco de España for the availability of one or more of the account holders and even of third parties who must all be present at the time of signing or, if applicable, provide the power of attorney empowering them to represent them.
  1. Well in advance of the date of the prior appointment requested for the opening of the direct account, legal entities must have submitted to the General Registry of the Banco de España a letter addressed to the Legal Department of the Banco de España, requesting the opening of the direct account and attaching the following documentation: the NIF (and LEI code, for the performance of certain operations), proof of ownership of a bank account owned by the legal entity, the deeds and powers of attorney registered in the Commercial Registry, a notarial deed of actual ownership and the publication of the registration in the Official Bulletin of the Commercial Registry (BORME), if the company was created after 30/12/1989. 

The Banco de España  may request, both at the time of opening and throughout the life of the direct account, any information it deems relevant in order to verify compliance with the regulations in force at any given time on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

What do direct accounts offer?

In general:

  • The exercise of the economic rights arising from registered balances of debt (collection of interest, amortization, payments), that shall become effective by means of a bank transfer to the account indicated by the holder.
  • At the request of the holder, amortised Debt reinvestments provided that said amortisation is made on the same date as debts issuance (instrument schedules are prepared so issuances are followed by amortisations). If there is a possibility of reinvestment, Banco de España notifies the holders in time to do so.
  • Timely management information is provided through the mailing of transaction receipts, reinvestment requests, notification of cash credits, letters with tax information, etc.

The possibility of transferring the registered debt, before its maturity, to another entity participating in the Spanish public debt markets or to the entity designated as legal aid by the BMEX for sales on the secondary market.

What do direct accounts exclude?

In general:

  • No purchase or sale of government debt may be made on the secondary debt market.
  • Changes in ownership arising from any transactions on the secondary market cannot be recorded.

What expenses do they incur?

Cash transfers are charged to Banco de España at the rates agreed by its Executive Committee.

Since 2 January 2005, these have been set at 1.5 per thousand, with 0.9 euros minimum and 200 euros maximum, on the amount to be transferred.

How to subscribe public debt again

Direct account holders can underwrite public debt in person at the offices of Banco de España or by the Treasury web page (www.tesoro.esOpens in new window).

In addition, only if holders have their handwritten signature recognised by the Direct Account Service of Banco de España, the form provided in the attached application could be completed and signed and sent by post to the office of Banco de España where the account is held. In any case, the underwriting will be carried out once the existence of sufficient funds in the payment account associated to the direct account has been verified.

How to claim

Holders of direct accounts who do not agree with the actions of Banco de España as a participant in the Spanish public debt markets may file a complaint with the Subdirectorate General for Public Debt of the Directorate General for the Treasury and Financial Policy or with the Institutions’ Conduct Department of Banco de España.

Additional information

The Treasury also has an internet income securities trading service ( in new window).

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Face-to-face prior appoinment

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