How to Open a Bank Account in Italy

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Opening a bank account in Italy is a sensible choice if you visit regularly, work or intend to purchase a property there. The account will be denominated in euros, the local Italian currency. This provides the benefit of being able to use your Italian bank card in 15 other European countries that have adopted the euro. As of June, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to declare assets greater than $10,000 in overseas accounts on your annual income tax return. Income received from interest and dividends also should be declared.

Things You'll Need

  • Account application pack
  • Passport
  • Proof of address
  • Check the list of banks, using the link in the Resources section below, before opening a bank account in Italy. Select a major bank, as it will have more branches throughout the country. Some have branches located in the U.S., which is helpful should you encounter any problems with your account.

  • Check the bank's website. Most major banks have an English version of their website. Review account types, charges, fees and requirements before proceeding to open a bank account in Italy. Take a note of the bank's contact details.

  • Apply by mail to open a bank account in Italy. Call the bank directly or call a branch office in the U.S, if the bank has one. Ask the bank to mail you an English language application pack.

  • Read everything contained in the pack. This will give a clear understanding of the specific requirements to open an Italian bank account. It also will list the documents you need to mail. This will include your passport, proof of address and details of how you intend to fund the account. Complete the application form carefully. Gather the necessary documents. Originals are required.

  • Send the application form, documents and opening deposit by secure mail. Your documents will be returned promptly. Allow three or four weeks to receive your new bank details. Mail services may be slower than in the U.S.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the bank has a branch in the U.S. that you are able to visit personally, you can open an account quicker and you will not have to part with your passport. To find out where Italian bank branches are in the U.S, contact an Italian consulate office (see Resources).
  • If you travel to, or work in, Italy, open your bank account in person. Go to your chosen bank with your documents. An appointment is not usually required. If you work in Italy, you will need to take your Italian income tax details and residence card or proof of employment. Bank accounts can be opened in 24 hours, according to AngloInfo.
  • Overseas transfers to or from an Italian bank account must be declared to the Italian Exchange Controls Office, if the amount exceeds EUR 12,500, according to the AngloInfo website. This applies to residents and non-residents.

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