In my 30 years experience as a Lawyer here in Spain, I have found not surprisingly that one of the things that are important to clients is changing money to Euros, for the purchase of a property or a regular transfer to a Spanish Bank. There are many services which you can use, personally I prefer to use a broker for larger amounts instead of ‘Wise’ the previous name of “transferwise’ the reason being that I prefer to speak to a real person, not that I have ever experienced any problems with ‘Wise’.
Now we are now are firmly in new post-Brexit times there are new changes to be aware of when it comes to transferring money.
The free movement of services has come to an end. The UK financial service firms lost their financial services passports on 1st January 2021.
Before Brexit and the end of transition period firms were able to operate in the European Union (EU). Now that we are post brexit any businesses working in the EU have now lost their passporting rights. This means that firms who work in currency transfers will need a valid EU licence to work in the European Union and the European Economic Area.
The Spanish Royal Decree-Law 38/2020 was published on 29.12.20, this states that the United Kingdom would be a ‘third state’. from 1.1.21 . The decree makes mention of businesses which work in financial services, and what they have to do when dealing with clients who are in Spain. The Decree states;
‘From 1st January 2021, UK authorised entities will be subject to the relevant Spanish legislation and applicable regimes in respect of third country firms. UK entities will have to obtain a new authorisation to operate in Spain.’
The Bank of Spain (Banco de España) supervises FX trading and can penalise businesses who do not follow the Decree and therefore don’t safeguard the interests of their clients.
Any currency provider offering services to customers based in Spain must be regulated by a relevant EU authority, they cannot renew contracts or look for clients. Further, they cannot work with existing customers after 30.06.21.
What should you do? If you have a Currency Broker make sure that they have a valid EU licence. Maybe write or send an email so you have it in writing. Of course, if you instruct our firm in your property transaction we will ensure that any currency broker that we recommend has a valid EU licence. So for people buying a property here in Spain, nothing really changes as we will ensure that the FX broker has the correct licence.
If you are thinking of purchasing an apartment, villa, house here on the Costa Del Sol or anywhere in Spain we can help as your independent Solicitors. We can also help with the NIE number and the bank account whilst you are still in the UK. We have also conducted a large number of residency applications. We have 30 years of experience and native English speaking lawyers.
Marisa Moreno Senior Lawyer and Consul for Denmark.