MBA in Italy

Banking & Transfers

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Italy’s banking system is similar that in other European countries. The central bank is The Bank of Italy (Banca d’Italia) and it is owned by the public sector. In practice, the Bank of Italy plays an important role in economic policy making, although its independence is being gradually eroded by the German Bundesbank.

In Italy, there are three kinds of bank:
  • Ordinary commercial or credit banks
  • Co-operative banks (banchi popolari cooperative): These banks provide loans, essentially home loans, to their costumers.
  • Co-operative credit banks (banche di credito cooperativo): These banks are rural savings banks funded by farmers. They comprise the largest number of banks (over 500).
The bank chains in Italy are divided in three groups:
  • National Banking Chains: Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Crédito Italiano, Cassa di Risparmio, Banca Intesa, Sanpaolo , Unicredito Italiano
  • Regional Banking Chains: Banca di Roma, Banco di Napoli, Banco di Sicilia
  • International Banking Chains: Chase , Citibank , Bank of America, HSBC
The level of protection in banks is very high; all Italian banks belong to an official deposit guarantee scheme.

Branches of banks established in the EU can join an Italian deposit guarantee scheme on top of the protection offered under their home country guarantee scheme.

Branches of banks from outside the EU and licensed to operate in Italy must join an Italian deposit guarantee scheme unless they are members of an equivalent foreign scheme.

Banking hours are normally Monday to Friday mornings from 8.30 hrs – 13.00 hrs and for an hour in the afternoon (usually 15.00 – 16.00 hrs). Banks are generally closed on weekends and holidays (they sometimes close early on days prior to holidays as well).

Cash Cards

The easiest way to make transactions is using credit or debit cards. All mayor cards are accepted and ATM’s are found in any Italian city, even in small towns.

Cards can also be used for cash advances over the counter in banks and for payment in most hotels, restaurants, petrol stations and some shops. You will pay a fee of 1.5% for all these transactions.

The Bancomat Card is a national debit card generally accepted throughout Italy to pay for goods and services; it is very popular and widely applied. Once you have an account, apply through your bank to get one. Bancomat can be used in automatic tellers (ATM) throughout the country.

Bank Accounts

Banks in Italy offer: current, saving and join accounts (conto corrente cointestato). Some banks offer special accounts for children, pensioners and students. Banks are required to publish the highest interest rates that they charge along with the market average so that borrowers can compare rates.

In Italy, resident foreigners can freely open a normal account (a lire checking account). Non-residents, visitors for less than six months, can open a foreign currency account (conto estero). This type of account pays higher interest rates than resident accounts.

Chequing Accounts are interest-bearing, interest rates and service charges can often be negotiated. Services charges include a conventional charge (giorni di valuta) i.e. how many days after the transaction a deposit begins to accrue interest. This conventional charge may vary from bank to bank

To open a bank account in Italy you will need:

  • Be aged at least 18 years.
  • Valid passport
  • Tax number (Codice fiscale)
  • Valid residence certificate (il certificato di residenza)
  • of address in Italy (telephone or electricity bill, rental contract)
Post offices also offer banking services. But non-residents may not open a post office account. Having an account at the post office presents a number of advantages; often postal account costs are lower, the post offices are open for longer hours and bills are debited free unlike in normal banks. To open a post office account, you have to present the same documents listed above.

Transfers of Money

In Italy, residents and non-residents can transfer money to or from other countries, but any transfer of cash or securities in domestic or foreign currencies that exceeding 12,500 Euro, must be declared to the Italian Exchange Controls Office (UIC – Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi).

You can also transfer an uncrossed Cheque to someone else by endorsing it on the reverse. Writing “non transferibile” (not transferable), ensures against the cheque being cashed by anyone else. On a cheque, the amount, when written out, contains no capital letters and all the words are connected, For example: "trecentocinquantamilacinquecentolire".

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Money and Finance in Italy
MBA Italy