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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by 2Heads on February 05, 2019, 05:04:17 PM »
I agree 100% with Levi about considering the positioning of the bank. At first we banked in Pescara but once we moved in it was completely inconvenient and we closed the account and opened a new one locally with BCC. (We've not had any problems with them) Fortunately we set up a direct debit for electricity before the resident/non-resident banking business was introduced and that simply continues. Incidentally, I was assured by the bank that the change came about not to 'punish' stranieri but to catch out Italians who were pretending to be from another nation for nefarious purposes. They asked us to come in to the branch to make the changeover and, in true Italian style, we had to sign 72 times between the two of us - God help the Brazilian rain forests! It doesn't seem to have made any difference at all except for the cheques, which I use to pay the delivery driver for gas, are now stamped to show we are not Italians.
For everyday transactions we use a pre-loaded card which is very convenient and can even be loaded on a mobile if you get to the checkout and find you haven't enough euros left on it.
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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by GeordieBorn on February 05, 2019, 11:18:05 AM »
Since Relaxed post on Fineco I've come across them quit a few times on other forums with very positive posts. A quick look at their UK site here would seem to indicate they are actually part of Unicredit. Not looked into charges, but reports I've read are good and they do a multiple currency account that may well suit those travelling by car to Italy as well as those living in Italy. Worth a look to see if it gets around any residency issue as you may well be able to run the account from the UK and/or Italy and still use both EUR and GBP, although there is some indication card transactions will always be in EUR and a exchange involved.
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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by Berris on January 25, 2019, 10:22:33 PM »
Thanks, Relaxed. Good points about the notario and agents fees. And thanks for passing on the tip about Fineco. I shall look them up!

Cheers!
4
General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by Relaxed on January 24, 2019, 10:19:14 PM »
I don't use it myself, but various friends recommend Fineco, which is an internet bank with quite low charges. I expect you'll find a website for them outlining their offerings (in English, because I think they are Europe wide). Of course you cannot fully depend on the English information, because there may be some wrinkles which the Italian banking authorities impose whch may not be mentioned - but it'll give you an idea.
You can certainly pay any house vendor by an electronic bank transfer (through a currency exchange, or from your own UK bank), but you cannot pay the notaio or your estate agent using cash, (money laundering regs) so I think you'd need to make those payments electronically as well if you don't have an Italian bank account.
The cell-phone number can be someone else's number if they agree - mine is used by half a dozen people for their debit cards (which has the side-effect that I always know when they are in Italy!)
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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by Berris on January 24, 2019, 09:23:49 PM »
Thanks, EssexRed! That does really help. I haven't got the plan entirely figured out and we've still to find *the* house. So it's really hand to have some options and an idea of what's possible.

Cheers!
6
General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by Essex Red on January 24, 2019, 05:58:22 PM »
I have a non resident account with Unicredit in Lanciano. They have a couple of people there who speak reasonable English. I used to work in banking and had a role which included evaluating Italian banks and thought they were one of the best and more internationally focused, which is why I chose them as well as convenient location for me.
The account works fine. I monitor it on line and top it up when needed with transfers from the UK. I use it to pay my electricity bill by direct debit and paying bills / spending money via my ATM card when I visit my house. I rarely go into the branch but when I do they are always helpful.
Charges are about 6 Euro a month which gets reduced when I have a balance over a couple of thousand.
I needed a local Sim pay (pay as you go) to get the pin when the account was opened but have not needed it since. 
Hope this helps.
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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by Berris on January 24, 2019, 05:36:06 PM »
Ah, thanks. I've used an fx company before and gone through some of the peculiarities of large transfers, i just didn't know it might be possible for the sale. Seemed to be the 12th commandment was thou shalt have an Italian bank account! This is great information to have in the back pocket though. Especially if things need to go fast.

Cheers!
8
General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by GeordieBorn on January 24, 2019, 05:00:13 PM »
Thanks, Geordieborn. You mean i could transferwise straight to the seller's account? Pay my bills and taxes in cash?
I think you will find CurrencyFair best for the house payment or anything else over £500.
The cash advice is just a suggestion whilst you get settled. The odd thing is paying a bill the post office cost 1.20 last I used it, same on-line at their site was 1.00, but go on to the bill site (say TIM for the landline) it cost nothing! Many places there (as opposed to companies which most will not) accept the likes of FairFX or Caxton cards for payment. However long term without a UK address I think you would run into trouble trying to continue using these.
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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by Berris on January 24, 2019, 04:48:11 PM »
Thanks, Geordieborn. You mean i could transferwise straight to the seller's account? Pay my bills and taxes in cash?
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General finance / Re: Bank recommendations
« Last post by GeordieBorn on January 24, 2019, 12:49:44 PM »
I donít think any bank here in Italy is failsafe, although I did read from a very good source that Unicredit are too big to fail!
If itís only to buy for now, why donít you look to use a direct transfer? Banks would be the most costly for this, an FX company or Transferwise or CurrencyFair. The latter last I looked were better for anything over £500. Either way, check your UK bank limit for transfers as no matter who you are transferring to it is likely your bank will have a daily limit (some as low as 20,000). In which case you may have to do this in bits. One other problem with getting an Italian account is that until you are resident they have to have a non-resident account and be prepared to let you open one. As stated by others, these days many want an Italian mobile number to run the account for using 2-factor-authentication (2FA).
In the early days look at a UK pre-loaded credit card for cash and/or some payments, such as the likes Fairfx and Caxton.
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