Corporate & commercial Law

Opening a bank account in Italy: why it could be convenient?


In recent years, Italy has become an increasingly popular choice for residents abroad who wish to open a bank account. With its stable banking system, wide range of financial services, and strategic location within the European Union, Italy offers many opportunities for international investors. Let me briefly explain why Italy is one of the best countries to hold your assets. Some may express concerns about high taxation on capital gains, but this is not entirely true. I will delve into this matter shortly.

How to open a bank account in italy for non residents

Now, let’s discuss how one can open an account in Italy while residing abroad:

  1. Research Banking Options: Begin by researching the various banking options available in Italy. Many Italian banks cater to international clients as well.
  2. Bank Selection: After conducting research, choose a bank. A piece of advice would be to consider the bank’s Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio, which signifies its soundness.
  3. Required Documentation: Once you’ve selected a bank, you’ll need to provide certain documents to open the account. These typically include a valid ID, proof of residence abroad, and sometimes a letter of recommendation from a foreign bank.
  4. Completion of Forms: Fill out the account opening forms provided by your chosen bank after
    gathering all necessary documents.
  5. Identity Verification: Some banks may require identity verification via video call or through a notary public.
  6. Initial Deposit: Certain banks may require an initial deposit to open the account. The deposit amount varies depending on the bank.
  7. Account Activation: After the bank receives all required documents and the initial deposit, your account will be activated, granting you access to banking services either online or at a branch.
opening an italian bank account

Why is beneficial an italian bank account

Now, let’s address why opening an account in Italy is beneficial and whether it’s a safe option. Italy offers a safe environment for keeping money for several reasons.

  • Stability of the Banking System: Italy’s banking system is stable and well-regulated, with financial institutions adhering to strict regulations to safeguard customer deposits. Italy boasts one of the lowest bank failure rates globally.
  • Deposit Protection: European Union regulations ensure that bank deposits up to a certain amount are protected by a deposit guarantee system, providing additional security for savers.
  • Access to Financial Markets: Opening an account in Italy grants foreign investors access to European and even non-continental financial markets, allowing for portfolio diversification and the utilization of available investment opportunities.
  • Economic Stability: Despite occasional economic challenges, Italy remains one of the world’s leading economies, with a diversified industrial base and a strong presence in manufacturing and services. Recent macroeconomic data positions Italy ahead of Germany.

What are the tax implications of opening a bank account in Italy?

Now, let’s delve into the tax implications of holding investments in Italy while being a resident of another state. While Italy is not considered a tax heaven, there’s good news for those considering opening an account and investing in Italy: Income from foreign law Sicav – Etf (such as MCSI World ETF or JP Morgan Technology Fund) is always exempt from taxation, as are foreign stocks and bonds.

How to open an italian bank account

To be classified as a nonresident, three conditions must be met simultaneously:

  1. Not being registered in the registry of persons resident in Italy for more than half of the year (183 days in normal years, 184 in leap years).
  2. Not being domiciled in Italy for more than half of the year.
  3. Not having habitual residence in Italy for more than half of the year.

For example, if Mr. Rossi resides in Dubai, with his center of interest and habitual abode there, he will pay taxes on capital gains in Dubai according to the tax regulations in that country (in this case, 0% as Dubai has no capital gains tax).

I hope this clarifies any queries regarding opening an account and investing in Italy while residing abroad.

If you need more information ad cruise our services about opening a bank account in Italy, please read our dedicated page.

This article was written by Giuseppe Orlando, a seasoned professional in private banking, with four years of experience in the industry. Alongside his role, he holds a professorship in International Finance at the Swiss School of Management. Prior to this, Giuseppe worked for renowned investment funds and served as a Debt Capital Markets analyst in an investment bank. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Palermo, a graduation in Investment Banking from LIUC University, and completed advanced studies at Karl Franzens University in Austria. Additionally, he attended a course on international financial markets at Yale University.