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About finances

Bank Ownership Certificate: What Is It and How to Obtain One?

31 AUG 2023

Have you applied for a grant and been asked for a bank ownership certificate? Has your company requested it to switch your payroll to a new bank account? Are you opening an account with an online credit institution and need to present this document? 
At UCI Mortgages, we'll explain what a bank ownership certificate is and how to obtain it.

What Is a Bank Ownership Certificate?

A bank ownership certificate is an official document issued by a financial institution at the request of a customer, confirming who the owner of a specific bank account is and providing basic account details. Specifically, this document generally includes:• The name of the bank, savings bank, or financial institution issuing the bank ownership certificate. It may also include the authorized representative acting on behalf of the financial institution.
The account number (with 20 digits).
The IBAN number (consisting of 24 characters).
The BIC or bank identification code.
The full name of the account holder, as well as any authorized persons.
The account holder's tax identification number (NIF).
The issuance date of the bank ownership certificate.
Unlike a simple bank statement or data extract, the bank ownership certificate is signed and stamped—either physically or digitally—by the issuer, providing a higher level of authentication. However, while the former usually incurs no cost to the requester, the latter often involves fees that can reach up to €35 in Spain, depending on the financial institution.

What Is the Purpose of a Bank Ownership Certificate?

As the name suggests, this document serves to verify to third parties who the owner of a specific account is. Despite its name, it's a document that finds common use in various everyday scenarios. For instance, it may be requested by government authorities to deposit a scholarship or grant into your account, by an energy company to set up bill payments via direct debit, by a credit institution to confirm your details when applying for a mortgage, or even by your landlord when formalizing a lease agreement.
In Spain, the presentation of a bank ownership certificate is becoming more common due to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2010. This law generally imposes the duty to request a customer's responsible declaration (by obligated parties) in order to determine the real ownership. The bank ownership certificate is typically required only in cases of enhanced due diligence.

How to Request a Bank Ownership Certificate?

Until recently, obtaining a bank ownership certificate was a somewhat cumbersome process, often requiring an in-person visit to the relevant financial institution. However, technological advancements in the banking sector have introduced new options for obtaining this document.
Here are several ways to obtain a bank ownership certificate:
1. The most traditional and widespread method is to visit the nearest branch of your bank or savings bank and request the bank ownership certificate, typically by presenting your ID card or passport.
2. Many financial institutions have also enabled the option to request and immediately download a PDF bank ownership certificate through their websites. This usually requires a code from your digital banking coordinate card.
3. Some banks and savings banks offer mobile applications that include the ability to request and receive the bank ownership certificate. In this case, to ensure consumer protection, you may need to provide a confirmation code via email, SMS, or phone call.


The UCI blog posts cover current issues that are intended to be useful to our readers. However, it is possible that some of the less recent posts contain out-of-date information, so it is necessary that you always check the publication date of the post.