You should open an Italian bank account if you work, visit regularly or want to buy a property in that country. Italy’s currency is the euro. Fifteen other European countries have adopted the euro. Opening an Italian bank account means you can use your bank cards in these countries with no rate of exchange costs. The United States does not impose restrictions on citizens opening foreign bank accounts. However, you are required to declare assets in foreign bank accounts exceeding £6,500 to the Internal Revenue Service on your income tax return. Interest and dividend payments should also be declared.
Check the list of banks (see Resources) before you open an Italian bank account. Select a large Italian bank, as it will have more branches. Some have representative offices in the United States, enabling you to manage your bank account in Italy. Contact your nearest Italian consulate office to find out the location of banks with representative offices in the United States.
Contact your chosen bank. Check the requirements to open an Italian bank account. If the bank has a conveniently-located branch in the U.S. call it. Get an application pack mailed.
Read the application pack thoroughly. Check that you can comply with the banks requirements. Check the minimum deposit is required. You will, in most cases, need a passport, proof of address and income details (payslips or recent bank statements) to open an Italian bank account.
Complete the application form. Check your documents are in order. They must be originals rather than photocopies. Ensure you have your deposit.
Mail the application form, documents and deposit, either to the representative office in the United States or to the bank in Italy. Use registered, secure mail.
Wait for your application to be checked and your identity verified. Credit checks are sometimes required. Your documents will be returned. Your account details and bank cards will be mailed separately. Allow three to four weeks, although it will be quicker if you act in-person at a representative office.
Visit the banks representative office in person if it is conveniently-located. The process is faster and you get to keep your passport and other documents. Open your bank account in Italy if you work or travel there. Go to any bank branch with your documents. Ensure you take your Italian number and residence card if you work in Italy.
Italian banking regulations require overseas transfers to be declared to the Italian Exchange Controls Office if the amount exceeds EUR 12,000 in one transaction. This applies to residents and non-residents.