Family OfficeFinanceInsuranceMortgagePropertiesWhich bank is best for expats in Italy?

30 July 20230

Living the “dolce vita” as an expatriate in Italy comes with its own set of challenges, including banking. Choosing the right bank for your needs can seem like a difficult task, especially in a country where you are still adjusting to a new language and culture. But what are the best Italian banks for expats?

The Italian banking landscape

Banks such as Unicredit, ING and Intesa Sanpaolo are among the favorites for expats in Italy. Unicredit tops the list, being the most popular and trusted among Italians, boasting a strong international reputation and with branches scattered throughout Italy. ING is another good choice, particularly for those seeking a bank with international clout. However, it lacks branches in some areas, which can be a challenge. Intesa Sanpaolo, considered the second home for many Italians, is another strong choice.

Why choose a national bank?

But why choose a domestic Italian bank? If you are an expatriate in Italy, having an Italian bank account can simplify several aspects of your life. It will be easier to receive a salary, pay bills and taxes, and make transactions. The types of accounts you can open depend on your resident status, with options including “Conto Corrente,” “Conto Corrente Cointestato” and “Conto di Risparmio” and other solutions that each individual bank can offer.

Are international banks an option?

If domestic banks are not your cup of tea, or you need more international features, several international banks cater to expatriates and digital nomads. Banks such as, N26, Starling Bank, Monzo, Wise Multi-Currency Account and are recognized as some of the best for expats in recent years. These banks usually support multiple currencies and offer services such as international transfers, which can be an advantage for expats with ties in other countries. For expats with high balances, HSBC Bank has stood out for its services, while Citibank is excellent for money transfers.

Disadvantages of foreign banks in Italy

Although keeping an account in a foreign bank (especially for Britons living in Italy) may be necessary for pensions, income and direct debits, there can be problems. Some British banks have closed the accounts of EU-resident customers, making banking a challenge. In addition, accessing funds abroad can be expensive because of high bank fees, including those for ATM transactions.

Bottom line

Whether you choose an Italian domestic bank or an international bank depends on your individual needs. While domestic banks such as Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo offer familiarity and accessibility, international banks offer services tailored to the global citizen. Your choice will depend on factors such as source of income, currency preferences and resident status.

Research the services offered by each bank, their fees and other factors such as the ease of banking online or via mobile applications. And, of course, consider your personal needs and preferences. In the end, the best bank for an expatriate in Italy is the one that makes your life easier and meets your financial needs.

For more information or assistance in opening an account in Italy, you can contact FMoretto Consulting , a company that provides financial and insurance advice for foreign clients who decide to relocate their residence or business to Italy.

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