Of all the items that attract folks from across the planet to Venice every year, banking is probably not one the highest drawcards, I wouldn’t have thought. It’s not that interest rates on savings accounts are particularly unattractive or that service is poor, it’s more that why on earth would you travel to such a beautiful place only for financial reasons?
First, let’s assume you’re non-Italian and don’t have Italian residency. This being said, I trust you would need to very much want to accomplish either opening up a checking account or create an investment vehicle within the country. There are, of course, limitless possibilities, some of which I’ll be addressing in this article.
Sourcing the right identification documents can be challenging, but the whole process basically comes down to having a temporary or permanent residency and/or through being employed. If you don’t have either of these, don’t bother trying to open an account here.
Instead, some people choose to do business with one of the many new currency services available such as TransferWise. Luckily, if you want to know more about this service, you can read the TransferGuides review here. Companies of TransferWise are leading the way in modern, alternative banking services, and are known to save their customers a ton of money.
If you’re a lot of curious about creating an investment in Venice and don’t necessarily want a checking account within the city afterward, the best route is generally to possess a trusty professional person, who can assist you with the dealings. And once you have a bank account, then you can handle the customer service representative.
It took a friend of mine a good number of months to open a bank account in Venice since the banks kept asking for “additional” paperwork every single time he went back with the last one they had asked for. I simply do not understand for the life of me why they can’t just give you a list, to begin with, that contains everything they require on it!
I personally have been around since 2005, and I still don’t have my own personal bank account. I did try a couple of times but with all the paperwork you have to get together and what they take out every month in “commissions”, I decided it wasn’t worth it. Instead, I find that a service like TransferWise does a good enough job for me to pay any invoices with my bank account from home.
During the first years, when neither my wife nor I had a bank account, I would put any spare cash into a Vanguard index fund. It’s like an account in that you usually get paid interest while it’s there but best of all it is safe in the stock market – diversified, of course – and not under your mattress. The only inconvenience with this is that you have to give a day’s notice if you want to withdraw any money out.
Bank Italia may be a is a bank that operates in Venice, in addition to a range of other Italian cities. Funds which remain deposited can yield a percent or two annually. These accounts aren’t continuously useful as a result of they require monthly total deposits of less than €10,000; but, they can be terribly helpful for paying bills and wiring funds to suppliers or friends.
I came to the conclusion today that Venice-based banks probably don’t like foreigners having accounts with them because they don’t normally go into debt or buy things in 500 installments with the associated interest, on as many traditional Italians tend to do. Banks love this Italian characteristic since it gets them a lot of cash down the line.
This is all well and good, however, something I don’t like about Venice banks is that they will charge you a monthly commission for having your money with them – primarily so that they can use it to invest for their own benefit. On top of that, you normally won’t get any interest on it unless you not taking money out of the account – crazy, I know!
As an important final note, if you are lucky enough to get a cheque book account, do not bounce cheques in in Venice. It is a serious offense that can land you in jail for something along the line of fraud. If anyone hears of an easier way to open a bank account in Italy, or hears of a bank that is more flexible, let me know so I can help others.