Below are 16 frequently asked questions on matters relating to the Banco de España, grouped into four sections by content.
Nature, mission and functions of the Banco de España
A central bank is a public institution that manages the currency of a country or group of countries and controls the money supply, i.e. the stock of money in circulation. Its primary objective is price stability. A central bank is not a commercial bank and cannot offer current accounts or extend loans to the general public. As a public body, a central bank is a non-profit institution.
It means that the Banco de España acts independently of the Spanish central government and may neither solicit nor accept instructions from the Government or any other national or EU body in the exercise of its functions, as envisaged in the 1994 Law of Autonomy (document available only in Spanish). However, in the performance of its duties as a member of the European System of Central Banks, the Banco de España must follow the guidelines and instructions of the European Central Bank.
The Banco de España pursues price stability and financial system stability, thereby supporting stable economic growth. Also, through its analysis it contributes towards other economic-policy making. Find out more about the functions performed by the Banco de España here.
Among other services it provides to the general public, the Banco de España:
- carries out various operations with banknotes and coins, such as replacing counterfeit or damaged banknotes and facilitating the purchase of commemorative euro coins;
- resolves enquiries about banking products and services, and claims and complaints concerning institutions supervised by the Banco de España;
- handles credit reports requests and requests for correction or deletion of data reported by banks to the Banco de España’s Central Credit Register:
- enables public debt subscription through the direct accounts service.
The Banco de España is a public institution. Therefore, unlike commercial banks, it is not incorporated like companies, which are owned by private institutions or individuals.
Find out more about the origins and history of the Banco de España here.
The Governor of the Banco de España is appointed by the King, at the proposal of the Prime Minister, from among Spanish nationals of recognised competence in monetary or banking matters.
The Governor is appointed for a non-renewable six-year term.
You can submit requests and documents to the Banco de España:
- online, through the Banco de España’s Virtual Office ;
- in person, at the Banco de España’s main headquarters or at any of its branch offices located throughout Spain;
- in writing, by post to the Banco de España
Yes, through the Banco de España’s Virtual Office .
The service operates 24/7, all year round, except for necessary interruptions for technical reasons, which are announced on a timely basis.
The Banco de España has its main headquarters in Madrid. It also has 15 branch offices in the following cities: A Coruña, Alicante, Badajoz, Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Murcia, Oviedo, Palma, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid and Zaragoza.
The address, telephone number and opening hours of each office are available here.
Yes. Any individual can submit a request for access to information prepared or acquired by the Banco de España in the execution of its functions.
The Banco de España also regularly publishes up-to-date material information on its Transparency Portal, aiming to broaden and strengthen its transparency to facilitate scrutiny over its actions.
Yes. You can visit the Banco de España’s main headquarters in Madrid through a virtual tour .
The Banco de España also organises guided tours of its main headquarters and branch offices. The tours are free of charge, must be pre-booked and are conducted in Spanish. They are mainly aimed at groups from schools and universities. Exceptionally, where possible and upon request, tours may be organised for non-profit cultural and membership organisations.
Employment and scholarships
The Banco de España regularly publishes notices of all selection processes for permanent staff and temporary hires on its website.
Yes. The Banco de España awards scholarships for students and research grants.