Using Italian Bank Accounts

What you need to know about your Italian bank account...

Banks can issue a Bancomat card, this is a debit card that can be used in nearly all shops and for withdrawing cash. Household expenses such as heating, electricity and telephone bills can be paid at the post office with cash or a Bancomat card.

All cheque accounts in Italy are interest bearing, and interest is received quarterly, although it can be as little as 0.5 percent. Charges on current accounts vary depending on the number of cheques written or the average bank balance. Charges tend to be higher for non-resident accounts (versus resident accounts).

Completing an Italian cheque

Italian cheques should be written in Italian. When writing the amount, capital letters are not used and all the words are connected:

  • For example duemilacinquecento.

Dates are written with the day followed by the month and the year:

  • For example 1 luglio 2009

Transfers

Any transfer of cash or securities to and from another country exceeding €12,500, whether by a resident or non-resident, has to be declared to the Italian Exchange Controls Office, the UIC (Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi)

Opening hours

Bank opening hours vary according to the bank and the town. In general they are open from 08:00 or 08:30 until 13:00 or 13:30 and in the afternoons from 14:30 or 15:00 until 16:00 or 16:30. Some banks are open on Saturday mornings. On the day before a bank holiday, banks are often closed in the afternoon.

Banks situated at airports and railway stations have longer opening hours for changing money as do currency exchange bureaus in cities.