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Banking and financial terminology

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Jim's Guide - Banking and financial terminology

This is about the words you might come across in relation to banking and other financial matters.

SPANISH BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER

I'm using Bankia as an example, but some banks may have a longer account number.

An account number is made up of the following:

  • Entidad - company, 4 digits, e.g. Bankia is 2038.
  • Sucursal - branch, 4 digits, e.g the Bankia branch in Quesada is 6016.
  • DC (Dígito control) - control digit, 2 digits check number.
  • Cuenta - account number, 10 digits.

So a full Bankia account number is 20 digits.

IBAN

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number and is a number attached to all accounts in EU countries plus a few others. This number is required for international transfers. Its length and structure vary by country.

An IBAN is made up of a code that identifies the country the account belongs to. For Spain this is ES, and for the UK it is GB. This is followed by two control digits. And this in turn is followed by the bank account number. The structure of UK and other countries' IBANs is somewhat different.

Post Brexit, hopefully the UK will be added to the list of non-EU countries that use the IBAN number, but I've not seen any mention of this.

BIC/SWIFT

BIC is Bank Identifier Code and SWIFT is Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. SWIFT owns and administers the BIC system. There is no difference between BIC and SWIFT codes.

The SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 letters. Because it's letters only, and not numbers, far fewer characters are required to identify a bank account number. As a result, you're less likely to make a mistake when entering it.

Not every bank has a SWIFT code, and there are other types of bank identifier codes as well:

BANK STATEMENTS

The following are words you can expect to see on a typical statement.

  • Concepto - a word or code for the transaction, sometimes cryptic, and sometimes explained on the back of a statement. There can be numerous columns for this - scan along them and you can usually identify what the transaction was.
  • Descripcion - as it says on the can, e.g Mercadona, abono de pensiones (pension payment), reintegro cajero automatico (ATM withdrawal).
  • DIV or divisa - currency, normally EUR.
  • Extracto bancario - bank statement.
  • Fecha - date of a transaction.
  • Fecha del extracto - date of the statement.
  • Fecha Valor - effective date, e.g. the date from which a deposit starts earning interest.
  • Hoja - page number.
  • Importe - the amount involved in the transaction.
  • Oficina - the identifying number of the bank.
  • Saldo - balance after each transaction.
  • Saldo actual - current balance.

SEPA

SEPA is the Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA consists of member states of the EU, EFTA, and some other European countries.

It is an integrated European payment service for sending and accepting euro bank transfers, applying common financial schemes, standards and procedures.

GLOSSARY

Several of the following words have more than one definition, but I'm just giving definitions related to their use in a financial context.

Abono en Cuenta:

A credit to a bank account by any means - cash, cheque or transfer.

Acción:

A share in a company - one of the equal parts into which a company's capital is divided, entitling the holder to a proportion of the profits.

Also a part or portion of a larger amount that is divided among a number of people, or to which a number of people contribute, e.g. community charge.

Acreedor:

Creditor.

Adquisición:

Acquisition - act by which the property of something (or a right over it) is obtained, usually by purchase.

Ahorro:

Money that you don't spend i.e. savings.

Ahorro forzoso:

Loss of purchasing power that inflation causes to the recipients of fixed income. Us poor pensioners know all about that since the Brexit referendum.

Anticipo:

An advance of money before the due payment date e.g. an advance on salary.

Aval:

Form of guarantee that a person undertakes to meet the obligations or debts contracted by another, in the event of default by the latter.

Avalista:

The guarantor who agrees to assume the debts of another, in the event of default by the latter.

Banca a distancia:

Banking operations that use the Internet or other means (telephone, ATMs, agents), without the need to visit the bank.

Banco:

A bank.

Banda holográfica:

Hologram found on the right side of banknotes. When you tilt the banknote you can see the euro symbol and the value etc.

Banquero:

Banker.

Billete:

Banknote.

Bono:

Loan made by an investor to a public administration or company, in exchange for receiving a certain interest. The repayment periods are usually between three and five years.

Bono de caja:

Bank bond.

Bono del Estado:

Government bond.

Bono del Tesoro:

Treasury bond.

Bruto:

Gross.

Salario bruto - gross wage or salary before deductions.

Caja de ahorro:

Savings bank. Originally they were constituted as foundations of a private nature and social purpose, specializing in the financing of families and small and medium enterprises.

Caja fuerte:

Safe or strong box.

Cajero:

Teller, cashier.

Cajero automático:

ATM. We use them to withdraw cash. The Spanish, as you'll know if you've stood in a queue behind them, use them to update passbooks, pay in cash, buy tickets, and pay bills, usually with a lot of chuntering and head scratching.

Cambio de moneda:

Currency exchange, in our case sterling to euros (at a poorer rate than you'd get from the likes of Transferwise).

Carga fiscal:

Tax levied by the State, community and municipality.

Cargo en cuenta:

Payment from an account.

Cartilla:

Bank passbook.

Casa de cambio:

Bureaux de change.

Cheque:

Same as English.

Cheque bancario:

Bank cheque, guaranteeing payment.

Cheque cruzado:

A crossed cheque, with two parallel diagonal stripes drawn across it, which can only be paid to a bank or to a client of the bank.

Cheque de ventanilla:

Cheque provided by the bank if you don't have your cheque book to hand.

Cheque de viaje:

Traveller's cheque, normally issued in a foreign currency, which can be converted into cash in the country of that currency or used directly to pay for goods or services.

Cheque nominativo:

Personal cheque, bearing the name of the person authorized to collect it.

To ensure that a cheque can only be deposited to the account of the person or business to which it is made, you can write "a abonar en cuenta" (to be credited to the account of) before the name of the recipient, or cross the front of the cheque with two parallel lines.

Cheque al portador:

Bearer cheque. Can be cashed by the person who has it.

Clave de acceso:

The PIN number you enter after your user ID when logging into your bank account.

Cobrar:

The meaning depends on context.

To charge (a price); to cash (a cheque); to earn (a salary).

¿cuánto te ha cobrado? - how much did he charge you?
¿cuánto cobras? - how much do you earn?
cobro cada lunes - I get paid every Monday.

Código:

Code.

Código de seguridad/Código secreto - password.

Comisión bancaria:

Bank charge - the amount paid for a product or banking service. Examples - the fee for setting up a mortgage or loan, fee paid for early settlement of a mortgage, and of course the fees that the banks impose on us for being so foolish as to open an account with them.

Compra:

Purchase.

Comprobante:

Receipt or voucher. Justificante is more common.

Contingencia:

Risk - that something might happen that hasn't been foreseen.

Contraseña:

Password.

Coste:

Cost.

Cotización:

Price of shares traded on the Stock Exchange (Bolsa).

Crédito:

Although crédito normally just translates to credit, in banking terms it means money that a bank makes available. Unlike a loan, where a borrower receives a certain amount, with credit the client only pays interest for the amount actually used, which he will have to repay within the agreed terms.

Crédito hipotecario:

Debt secured by a mortgage.

Cuenta bancaria:

Bank account. It comes in two principal flavours:

Cuenta corriente or a la vista - current account.
Cuenta de ahorro - savings account.

Cuota:

Installment.

Declaración de la Renta:

Income tax return.

Deducción:

Deduction, in the sense that it's something you can claim to reduce the income on which you have to pay tax. For example, maternity or disability allowance.

Demora:

The delay, after a due date, in making payment for something.

Depositar:

To deposit.

Depósito:

A payment into your bank account.

Descubierto:

More correctly described as descubierto bancario. It's the status of a bank account which is overdrawn.

For information, "in the red" is “en números rojos”.

Deuda:

Debt - amount of money or goods that are owed to someone.

Deudor/deudora:

Debtor.

Devolver:

To refund, return.

You have 15 days to devolve any direct debit from your account, which you can probably do online.

Dinero:

Money, in the broad sense of legal currency.

Then there are a lot of other usages of the word, for examples:

  • Andar bien de dinero - to have plenty of money.
  • Andar mal/escaso(a) de dinero - to be short of money.
  • Dinero contante (y sonante) - ready money, cash.
  • Dinero de plástico - debit or dredit card.
  • Dinero en efectivo - cash.
  • Dinero en metálico - cash.
  • Dinero falso - counterfeit money.
  • Dinero llama dinero - money makes money.
  • Dinero negro/sucio - dirty money.
  • Dinero suelto - loose change.
  • Ganar dinero a espuertas - to make a pile.
  • Hacer dinero - to make money.
  • Ser de dinero - to be wealthy.
  • Tirar el dinero por la ventana - to throw money down the drain.

Disposición en efectivo:

Withdrawal of cash from a current account.

Divisa:

Currency other than euros; or foreign currency accepted internationally as a means of payment.
If you're told no se aceptan divisas, it means that foreign currency isn't accepted.

Control de divisas - exchange control.

Domiciliación bancaria:

Direct debit.

Emisión:

Share etc issue.

Endeudamiento:

Indebtedness - action and effect of borrowing.

Entidad gestora:

Fund manager.

Entidades financieras:

Financial entities, e.g. banks.

Escritura:

Public document, signed with or without witnesses by the person or persons who grant it, in which a notary certifies the legality and authenticity of an act or a right reflected in it.

Escritura de propiedad:

Title deed.

Euríbor:

Interest rate applied to loans in euros between large banks, and which is often used as a reference in mortgage loans at variable interest rates.

Eurogiro:

This is an international money order, and is a payment order made through Correos and used to send money abroad for transactions such as payment of purchases, sending money to a family member, etc.

Eurogiro can be used within the EU and also with other countries with which Correos has an agreement, guaranteeing the amount drawn.

The money will be paid in the local currency of the country of the recipient of the money.

A Eurogiro is limited to a maximum of €2499.

You can optionally include a private communication of up to 140 characters for free with this service.

Exportación:

I've only included this because of Brexit.

Export - the shipping or sale of goods and services from one's own country to a different one not belonging to the EU.

Derechos de exportación - export duties.

Extracto de cuenta:

Bank statement.

Factura:

Invoice.

Fecha Valor:

Start date e.g. the date from which a new savings account starts to generate interest (or not!).

Fiar:

Meaning depends on context.

  • To vouch for - yo lo fío - I can vouch for him.
  • To sell on credit - el lechero me fía - the milkman lets me pay him later.
  • To confide, entrust - fió a su nieto toda su fortuna - he entrusted his entire fortune to his grandson.
  • To trust - no me fío de él - I don't trust him.
  • Trustworthy, reliable - de fiar.
  • No credit given - No se fía.

Finanzas:

Finances.

Firma digital:

Digital signature (not to be confused with an electronic certificate). It's an additional security number to confirm transactions made by telephone or internet banking. Without it, you'll probably find that you are unable to manage online payments or transfers.

Fondo de Emergencia:

Emergency fund - the amount of money needed to meet basic expenses for a period.

Fondo de Inversión:

Investment fund.

Fondo de pensiones:

Pension fund.

Forma de pago:

Method of payment.

Garantía bancaria:

A bank guarantee - an instrument issued by a financial institution in favour of one of its clients.

Gasto:

Expenditure - what you spend.

  • Gasto discrecional - discretionary spending; spending freely done by the consumer.
  • Gasto fijo (obligatorio) - fixed expense that cannot be reduced or eliminated e.g. a mortgage payment.
  • Gasto superfluo - superfluous expenditure; non-essential expenses, which can be reduced or eliminated without affecting basic needs, e.g. what your wife spends on clothes when she's already got a wardrobe full!
  • Gasto variable - variable expense; that varies depending on consumption.
  • Gastos de mantenimiento - running costs, maintenance costs.
  • Gastos diarios - daily expenses.

Gestión de deudas:

Debt management.

Girar:

Send money by postal giro or telegraph.

Haber:

Credit or assets.

Hilo de seguridad:

The metal strip embedded in banknotes.

Hipoteca:

Mortgage.

Importación:

Import of goods from countries not part of the EU.

Importe:

Amount, value, price in money of a good or service, or of a credit, debt or balance.

Impresión en relieve:

Embossed printing - a system that gives greater thickness to banknotes and serves as a security measure against their falsification.

Impuesto:

Tax, in all its various forms.

Ingreso:

Deposit - credit entry to a bank account.

Interés:

Interest - what you should get for having a savings account, but Spanish banks seem to be missing the point here.

Interés de demora:

Additional fees charged if you are late in paying a liability.

Inversión:

Investment.

Inversor:

Investor.

Jubilación:

Retirement.

Justificante:

Written proof, in the context of downloading from your bank the details of a specific line item like a debit for a utility bill.

Libreta de ahorro:

Savings account passbook.

Liquidez:

Liquidity.

Marca de agua:

Watermark on banknotes.

Marca táctil:

Horizontal tactile marks on the edges of €200 and €500 notes (I've never seen a €200 note) that make them perceptible to the touch.

Moneda:

Currency, often used in the sense of coins.

  • Moneda contante y sonante - coins.
  • Moneda corriente - legal tender.
  • Moneda cortada - coins that aren't perfectly circular, like the 20 cent piece.
  • Moneda divisionaria/fraccionaria - small change.
  • Moneda falsa - counterfeit money.
  • Moneda fraccionaria - coins of a value less than one euro.
  • Moneda metálica or moneda sonante - coins.
  • Moneda suelta - small change.
  • Una moneda de dos euros - a two-euro coin.

Monto:

Total, total amount.

Neto:

Net.

Salario Neto - net salary after deductions for tax, social security, etc.

Nivel de vida:

Standard of living.

Número de PIN:

PIN number. For anyone who doesn't know, PIN is personal identification number.

May also be seen as número secreto, número de identificación personal, código de acceso, NIP.

Números rojos:

Negative entries on a bank statement - in the red.

Ordenante:

The person or entity that gives the order to your bank to transfer funds from your account, for example the company with whom you have a direct debit set up.

Paga:

Amount of money given in payment.

Pago:

Payment.

En pago por - in return for.
Pago a cuenta - payment on account.
Pago aplazado - delayed payment.
Pago inicial - initial payment.
Pago por adelantado - advance payment.

Parche Holográfico:

The same as Banda holográfica.

Pasarelas de pago:

Payment gateways - an electronic commerce service that facilitates payments to businesses through the Internet.

Penalización:

Penalty. Economic sanction imposed for the breach of a commitment.

Plazo:

The period of time during which you have to do something - submit a tax return, pay a bill, etc.

Poner al día:

Update - e.g. bring your bank passbook up to date.

Portador:

Person who is in possession of a title or value.

Páguese al portador - pay the bearer.

Préstamo:

Loan. The difference between préstamo and crédito is that the whole amount of the former is paid into the borrower's bank account.

Pedir un préstamo - to ask for a loan.

Préstamo hipotecario:

Mortgage or home loan.

Préstamo personal:

Personal loan.

Presupuesto:

Budget.

Puntear/Punteado:

Reconcile a statement by checking it line by line.

Prórroga:

Extension.

Recibo:

Receipt.

Reintegro:

Withdrawal of money by the account holder.

Rentabilidad:

Cost effectiveness or profitability, i.e. the gain obtained from an investment or economic activity.

Tasa de rentabilidad - rate of return.

Retirar:

To withdraw.

Riesgo:

Risk - measure of the uncertainty in the result of an investment; possibility of financial loss.

Riesgo-Rentabilidad

Risk/Gain ratio - the relationship between two of the key elements of an investment: the higher the expected return, the greater the risk that is usually assumed.

Sacar:

To withdraw.

Sacar dinero - to withdraw money.

Saldo:

Balance of the money in an account at a particular time.

Saldo negativo or deudor - negative balance - you owe the bank money.
Saldo positivo or acreedor - positive balance.

Seguridad financiera:

Financial security.

Servicios bancarios:

Additional services offered by a bank, e.g. insurance.

Solvencia:

Solvency.

Sucursal:

Branch office.

Sueldo:

Remuneration - salary, wages, pay.

  • Aumento de sueldo - pay rise.
  • Estar a sueldo - to be on a salary.
  • Sueldo base - basic pay.
  • Sueldo mínimo - minimum wage.

Superávit:

Surplus - favourable difference between income and outgoings.

Talón:

Sometimes used instead of cheque.

  • Pagar en talón - pay by cheque.
  • Talón bancario - cheque issued at the bank counter, e.g. if you forgot your cheque book.
  • Talón conformado - certified cheque, bank cheque.
  • Talón en blanco - blank cheque.
  • Talón nominativo - cheque in the name of, cheque made out to.
  • Talón para el banco - cheque stub.
  • Talón sin fondos - bad/dud cheque.

Tarjeta de débito:

Debit card.

Tarjeta de crédito:

Credit card.

Tarjeta monedero:

Cash card.

Tipo:

Rate.

  • Tipo bancario finanzas - bank rate.
  • Tipo de cambio finanzas - exchange rate.
  • Tipo de interés - interest rate you have to pay for use of a credit card etc.

Tomador or beneficiario:

Policyholder or beneficiary - the designated person receiving the agreed benefit, e.g. the person to whom payment must be made.

Tomador de seguro - policy holder.

Transferencia:

Transfer of money from one account to another.

Vencimiento:

Maturity, or fulfilment of the term of a debt, of an obligation.

Fecha de vencimiento - due date, deadline.

Ventanilla:

The glass screen you may find in front of the bank teller.

LAST WORD:

And finally, a cry of despair to the bank teller:

¡La máquina me tragó la tarjeta!
The machine ate my card!

Banking and financial terminology

Jim's Guide - Banking and financial terminology

This is about the words you might come across in relation to banking and other financial matters.

SPANISH BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER

I'm using Bankia as an example, but some banks may have a longer account number.

An account number is made up of the following:

  • Entidad - company, 4 digits, e.g. Bankia is 2038.
  • Sucursal - branch, 4 digits, e.g the Bankia branch in Quesada is 6016.
  • DC (Dígito control) - control digit, 2 digits check number.
  • Cuenta - account number, 10 digits.

So a full Bankia account number is 20 digits.

IBAN

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number and is a number attached to all accounts in EU countries plus a few others. This number is required for international transfers. Its length and structure vary by country.

An IBAN is made up of a code that identifies the country the account belongs to. For Spain this is ES, and for the UK it is GB. This is followed by two control digits. And this in turn is followed by the bank account number. The structure of UK and other countries' IBANs is somewhat different.

Post Brexit, hopefully the UK will be added to the list of non-EU countries that use the IBAN number, but I've not seen any mention of this.

BIC/SWIFT

BIC is Bank Identifier Code and SWIFT is Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. SWIFT owns and administers the BIC system. There is no difference between BIC and SWIFT codes.

The SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 letters. Because it's letters only, and not numbers, far fewer characters are required to identify a bank account number. As a result, you're less likely to make a mistake when entering it.

Not every bank has a SWIFT code, and there are other types of bank identifier codes as well:

BANK STATEMENTS

The following are words you can expect to see on a typical statement.

  • Concepto - a word or code for the transaction, sometimes cryptic, and sometimes explained on the back of a statement. There can be numerous columns for this - scan along them and you can usually identify what the transaction was.
  • Descripcion - as it says on the can, e.g Mercadona, abono de pensiones (pension payment), reintegro cajero automatico (ATM withdrawal).
  • DIV or divisa - currency, normally EUR.
  • Extracto bancario - bank statement.
  • Fecha - date of a transaction.
  • Fecha del extracto - date of the statement.
  • Fecha Valor - effective date, e.g. the date from which a deposit starts earning interest.
  • Hoja - page number.
  • Importe - the amount involved in the transaction.
  • Oficina - the identifying number of the bank.
  • Saldo - balance after each transaction.
  • Saldo actual - current balance.

SEPA

SEPA is the Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA consists of member states of the EU, EFTA, and some other European countries.

It is an integrated European payment service for sending and accepting euro bank transfers, applying common financial schemes, standards and procedures.

GLOSSARY

Several of the following words have more than one definition, but I'm just giving definitions related to their use in a financial context.

Abono en Cuenta:

A credit to a bank account by any means - cash, cheque or transfer.

Acción:

A share in a company - one of the equal parts into which a company's capital is divided, entitling the holder to a proportion of the profits.

Also a part or portion of a larger amount that is divided among a number of people, or to which a number of people contribute, e.g. community charge.

Acreedor:

Creditor.

Adquisición:

Acquisition - act by which the property of something (or a right over it) is obtained, usually by purchase.

Ahorro:

Money that you don't spend i.e. savings.

Ahorro forzoso:

Loss of purchasing power that inflation causes to the recipients of fixed income. Us poor pensioners know all about that since the Brexit referendum.

Anticipo:

An advance of money before the due payment date e.g. an advance on salary.

Aval:

Form of guarantee that a person undertakes to meet the obligations or debts contracted by another, in the event of default by the latter.

Avalista:

The guarantor who agrees to assume the debts of another, in the event of default by the latter.

Banca a distancia:

Banking operations that use the Internet or other means (telephone, ATMs, agents), without the need to visit the bank.

Banco:

A bank.

Banda holográfica:

Hologram found on the right side of banknotes. When you tilt the banknote you can see the euro symbol and the value etc.

Banquero:

Banker.

Billete:

Banknote.

Bono:

Loan made by an investor to a public administration or company, in exchange for receiving a certain interest. The repayment periods are usually between three and five years.

Bono de caja:

Bank bond.

Bono del Estado:

Government bond.

Bono del Tesoro:

Treasury bond.

Bruto:

Gross.

Salario bruto - gross wage or salary before deductions.

Caja de ahorro:

Savings bank. Originally they were constituted as foundations of a private nature and social purpose, specializing in the financing of families and small and medium enterprises.

Caja fuerte:

Safe or strong box.

Cajero:

Teller, cashier.

Cajero automático:

ATM. We use them to withdraw cash. The Spanish, as you'll know if you've stood in a queue behind them, use them to update passbooks, pay in cash, buy tickets, and pay bills, usually with a lot of chuntering and head scratching.

Cambio de moneda:

Currency exchange, in our case sterling to euros (at a poorer rate than you'd get from the likes of Transferwise).

Carga fiscal:

Tax levied by the State, community and municipality.

Cargo en cuenta:

Payment from an account.

Cartilla:

Bank passbook.

Casa de cambio:

Bureaux de change.

Cheque:

Same as English.

Cheque bancario:

Bank cheque, guaranteeing payment.

Cheque cruzado:

A crossed cheque, with two parallel diagonal stripes drawn across it, which can only be paid to a bank or to a client of the bank.

Cheque de ventanilla:

Cheque provided by the bank if you don't have your cheque book to hand.

Cheque de viaje:

Traveller's cheque, normally issued in a foreign currency, which can be converted into cash in the country of that currency or used directly to pay for goods or services.

Cheque nominativo:

Personal cheque, bearing the name of the person authorized to collect it.

To ensure that a cheque can only be deposited to the account of the person or business to which it is made, you can write "a abonar en cuenta" (to be credited to the account of) before the name of the recipient, or cross the front of the cheque with two parallel lines.

Cheque al portador:

Bearer cheque. Can be cashed by the person who has it.

Clave de acceso:

The PIN number you enter after your user ID when logging into your bank account.

Cobrar:

The meaning depends on context.

To charge (a price); to cash (a cheque); to earn (a salary).

¿cuánto te ha cobrado? - how much did he charge you?
¿cuánto cobras? - how much do you earn?
cobro cada lunes - I get paid every Monday.

Código:

Code.

Código de seguridad/Código secreto - password.

Comisión bancaria:

Bank charge - the amount paid for a product or banking service. Examples - the fee for setting up a mortgage or loan, fee paid for early settlement of a mortgage, and of course the fees that the banks impose on us for being so foolish as to open an account with them.

Compra:

Purchase.

Comprobante:

Receipt or voucher. Justificante is more common.

Contingencia:

Risk - that something might happen that hasn't been foreseen.

Contraseña:

Password.

Coste:

Cost.

Cotización:

Price of shares traded on the Stock Exchange (Bolsa).

Crédito:

Although crédito normally just translates to credit, in banking terms it means money that a bank makes available. Unlike a loan, where a borrower receives a certain amount, with credit the client only pays interest for the amount actually used, which he will have to repay within the agreed terms.

Crédito hipotecario:

Debt secured by a mortgage.

Cuenta bancaria:

Bank account. It comes in two principal flavours:

Cuenta corriente or a la vista - current account.
Cuenta de ahorro - savings account.

Cuota:

Installment.

Declaración de la Renta:

Income tax return.

Deducción:

Deduction, in the sense that it's something you can claim to reduce the income on which you have to pay tax. For example, maternity or disability allowance.

Demora:

The delay, after a due date, in making payment for something.

Depositar:

To deposit.

Depósito:

A payment into your bank account.

Descubierto:

More correctly described as descubierto bancario. It's the status of a bank account which is overdrawn.

For information, "in the red" is “en números rojos”.

Deuda:

Debt - amount of money or goods that are owed to someone.

Deudor/deudora:

Debtor.

Devolver:

To refund, return.

You have 15 days to devolve any direct debit from your account, which you can probably do online.

Dinero:

Money, in the broad sense of legal currency.

Then there are a lot of other usages of the word, for examples:

  • Andar bien de dinero - to have plenty of money.
  • Andar mal/escaso(a) de dinero - to be short of money.
  • Dinero contante (y sonante) - ready money, cash.
  • Dinero de plástico - debit or dredit card.
  • Dinero en efectivo - cash.
  • Dinero en metálico - cash.
  • Dinero falso - counterfeit money.
  • Dinero llama dinero - money makes money.
  • Dinero negro/sucio - dirty money.
  • Dinero suelto - loose change.
  • Ganar dinero a espuertas - to make a pile.
  • Hacer dinero - to make money.
  • Ser de dinero - to be wealthy.
  • Tirar el dinero por la ventana - to throw money down the drain.

Disposición en efectivo:

Withdrawal of cash from a current account.

Divisa:

Currency other than euros; or foreign currency accepted internationally as a means of payment.
If you're told no se aceptan divisas, it means that foreign currency isn't accepted.

Control de divisas - exchange control.

Domiciliación bancaria:

Direct debit.

Emisión:

Share etc issue.

Endeudamiento:

Indebtedness - action and effect of borrowing.

Entidad gestora:

Fund manager.

Entidades financieras:

Financial entities, e.g. banks.

Escritura:

Public document, signed with or without witnesses by the person or persons who grant it, in which a notary certifies the legality and authenticity of an act or a right reflected in it.

Escritura de propiedad:

Title deed.

Euríbor:

Interest rate applied to loans in euros between large banks, and which is often used as a reference in mortgage loans at variable interest rates.

Eurogiro:

This is an international money order, and is a payment order made through Correos and used to send money abroad for transactions such as payment of purchases, sending money to a family member, etc.

Eurogiro can be used within the EU and also with other countries with which Correos has an agreement, guaranteeing the amount drawn.

The money will be paid in the local currency of the country of the recipient of the money.

A Eurogiro is limited to a maximum of €2499.

You can optionally include a private communication of up to 140 characters for free with this service.

Exportación:

I've only included this because of Brexit.

Export - the shipping or sale of goods and services from one's own country to a different one not belonging to the EU.

Derechos de exportación - export duties.

Extracto de cuenta:

Bank statement.

Factura:

Invoice.

Fecha Valor:

Start date e.g. the date from which a new savings account starts to generate interest (or not!).

Fiar:

Meaning depends on context.

  • To vouch for - yo lo fío - I can vouch for him.
  • To sell on credit - el lechero me fía - the milkman lets me pay him later.
  • To confide, entrust - fió a su nieto toda su fortuna - he entrusted his entire fortune to his grandson.
  • To trust - no me fío de él - I don't trust him.
  • Trustworthy, reliable - de fiar.
  • No credit given - No se fía.

Finanzas:

Finances.

Firma digital:

Digital signature (not to be confused with an electronic certificate). It's an additional security number to confirm transactions made by telephone or internet banking. Without it, you'll probably find that you are unable to manage online payments or transfers.

Fondo de Emergencia:

Emergency fund - the amount of money needed to meet basic expenses for a period.

Fondo de Inversión:

Investment fund.

Fondo de pensiones:

Pension fund.

Forma de pago:

Method of payment.

Garantía bancaria:

A bank guarantee - an instrument issued by a financial institution in favour of one of its clients.

Gasto:

Expenditure - what you spend.

  • Gasto discrecional - discretionary spending; spending freely done by the consumer.
  • Gasto fijo (obligatorio) - fixed expense that cannot be reduced or eliminated e.g. a mortgage payment.
  • Gasto superfluo - superfluous expenditure; non-essential expenses, which can be reduced or eliminated without affecting basic needs, e.g. what your wife spends on clothes when she's already got a wardrobe full!
  • Gasto variable - variable expense; that varies depending on consumption.
  • Gastos de mantenimiento - running costs, maintenance costs.
  • Gastos diarios - daily expenses.

Gestión de deudas:

Debt management.

Girar:

Send money by postal giro or telegraph.

Haber:

Credit or assets.

Hilo de seguridad:

The metal strip embedded in banknotes.

Hipoteca:

Mortgage.

Importación:

Import of goods from countries not part of the EU.

Importe:

Amount, value, price in money of a good or service, or of a credit, debt or balance.

Impresión en relieve:

Embossed printing - a system that gives greater thickness to banknotes and serves as a security measure against their falsification.

Impuesto:

Tax, in all its various forms.

Ingreso:

Deposit - credit entry to a bank account.

Interés:

Interest - what you should get for having a savings account, but Spanish banks seem to be missing the point here.

Interés de demora:

Additional fees charged if you are late in paying a liability.

Inversión:

Investment.

Inversor:

Investor.

Jubilación:

Retirement.

Justificante:

Written proof, in the context of downloading from your bank the details of a specific line item like a debit for a utility bill.

Libreta de ahorro:

Savings account passbook.

Liquidez:

Liquidity.

Marca de agua:

Watermark on banknotes.

Marca táctil:

Horizontal tactile marks on the edges of €200 and €500 notes (I've never seen a €200 note) that make them perceptible to the touch.

Moneda:

Currency, often used in the sense of coins.

  • Moneda contante y sonante - coins.
  • Moneda corriente - legal tender.
  • Moneda cortada - coins that aren't perfectly circular, like the 20 cent piece.
  • Moneda divisionaria/fraccionaria - small change.
  • Moneda falsa - counterfeit money.
  • Moneda fraccionaria - coins of a value less than one euro.
  • Moneda metálica or moneda sonante - coins.
  • Moneda suelta - small change.
  • Una moneda de dos euros - a two-euro coin.

Monto:

Total, total amount.

Neto:

Net.

Salario Neto - net salary after deductions for tax, social security, etc.

Nivel de vida:

Standard of living.

Número de PIN:

PIN number. For anyone who doesn't know, PIN is personal identification number.

May also be seen as número secreto, número de identificación personal, código de acceso, NIP.

Números rojos:

Negative entries on a bank statement - in the red.

Ordenante:

The person or entity that gives the order to your bank to transfer funds from your account, for example the company with whom you have a direct debit set up.

Paga:

Amount of money given in payment.

Pago:

Payment.

En pago por - in return for.
Pago a cuenta - payment on account.
Pago aplazado - delayed payment.
Pago inicial - initial payment.
Pago por adelantado - advance payment.

Parche Holográfico:

The same as Banda holográfica.

Pasarelas de pago:

Payment gateways - an electronic commerce service that facilitates payments to businesses through the Internet.

Penalización:

Penalty. Economic sanction imposed for the breach of a commitment.

Plazo:

The period of time during which you have to do something - submit a tax return, pay a bill, etc.

Poner al día:

Update - e.g. bring your bank passbook up to date.

Portador:

Person who is in possession of a title or value.

Páguese al portador - pay the bearer.

Préstamo:

Loan. The difference between préstamo and crédito is that the whole amount of the former is paid into the borrower's bank account.

Pedir un préstamo - to ask for a loan.

Préstamo hipotecario:

Mortgage or home loan.

Préstamo personal:

Personal loan.

Presupuesto:

Budget.

Puntear/Punteado:

Reconcile a statement by checking it line by line.

Prórroga:

Extension.

Recibo:

Receipt.

Reintegro:

Withdrawal of money by the account holder.

Rentabilidad:

Cost effectiveness or profitability, i.e. the gain obtained from an investment or economic activity.

Tasa de rentabilidad - rate of return.

Retirar:

To withdraw.

Riesgo:

Risk - measure of the uncertainty in the result of an investment; possibility of financial loss.

Riesgo-Rentabilidad

Risk/Gain ratio - the relationship between two of the key elements of an investment: the higher the expected return, the greater the risk that is usually assumed.

Sacar:

To withdraw.

Sacar dinero - to withdraw money.

Saldo:

Balance of the money in an account at a particular time.

Saldo negativo or deudor - negative balance - you owe the bank money.
Saldo positivo or acreedor - positive balance.

Seguridad financiera:

Financial security.

Servicios bancarios:

Additional services offered by a bank, e.g. insurance.

Solvencia:

Solvency.

Sucursal:

Branch office.

Sueldo:

Remuneration - salary, wages, pay.

  • Aumento de sueldo - pay rise.
  • Estar a sueldo - to be on a salary.
  • Sueldo base - basic pay.
  • Sueldo mínimo - minimum wage.

Superávit:

Surplus - favourable difference between income and outgoings.

Talón:

Sometimes used instead of cheque.

  • Pagar en talón - pay by cheque.
  • Talón bancario - cheque issued at the bank counter, e.g. if you forgot your cheque book.
  • Talón conformado - certified cheque, bank cheque.
  • Talón en blanco - blank cheque.
  • Talón nominativo - cheque in the name of, cheque made out to.
  • Talón para el banco - cheque stub.
  • Talón sin fondos - bad/dud cheque.

Tarjeta de débito:

Debit card.

Tarjeta de crédito:

Credit card.

Tarjeta monedero:

Cash card.

Tipo:

Rate.

  • Tipo bancario finanzas - bank rate.
  • Tipo de cambio finanzas - exchange rate.
  • Tipo de interés - interest rate you have to pay for use of a credit card etc.

Tomador or beneficiario:

Policyholder or beneficiary - the designated person receiving the agreed benefit, e.g. the person to whom payment must be made.

Tomador de seguro - policy holder.

Transferencia:

Transfer of money from one account to another.

Vencimiento:

Maturity, or fulfilment of the term of a debt, of an obligation.

Fecha de vencimiento - due date, deadline.

Ventanilla:

The glass screen you may find in front of the bank teller.

LAST WORD:

And finally, a cry of despair to the bank teller:

¡La máquina me tragó la tarjeta!
The machine ate my card!

Disclaimer

While we try to ensure the guides are accurate and up to date, things change and mistakes happen, so please consider this when using the guides.

Jim, the author of the guides, is based on Costa Blanca, and so the articles are biased to that region, although in most cases they are the same or very similar for other areas.

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About Guidebook Spain

Guidebook Spain is the complete guide to living in Spain for the British ex-pat and other foreign nationals.

Painstakingly researched and written by legendary ex-pat Jim Taylor, each article on Guidebook Spain covers vital topics for anyone considering setting up a home in Spain and those who have already made the move.

Jim's takes readily available, often complex, information and breaks it down into easy to read and understand chunks while drawing on his own experience as an ex-pat to add vital "real-world" advice.

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