Since June 2018, every bank and Poste Italiane office must offer the opportunity to open a Conto Corrente di Base - a basic bank account for people who cannot afford usual banking fees, and recently also for asylum-seekers who can't register at the local anagrafe and get a carta d'identità.
You can use this article to learn:
- What a conto di base is
- Who can apply
- How much it costs
- How to apply
- Who can help
Conto corrente di base, what is it?
The conto di base is a bank account for anyone who has simple banking needs, like making deposits, withdrawing money, direct salary deposit and obtaining a debit card and a payment card that can also be used to make online payments.
It’s available at all banks and Poste Italiane offices in Italy, and is intended to make banking services available to those who can't afford usual banking fees and those who can't register at the local anagrafe.
Who can open a conto di base?
Anyone with a low income and basic banking needs can open a conto corrente di base. To be eligible, you must:
- Be legally allowed to stay in Italy or another EU member state
- Not have an account in another bank
What banking services do I receive with this kind of account?
With a conto corrente di base, you are able to benefit from the following banking services, including:
- Withdraw from the ATM
- Cash withdrawal at the counter
- Deposit cash and checks
- Access to a debit card
- Send and receive money in the SEPA area (Single European Payments Area), meaning all countries using the Euro.
Some of the operations are unlimited and free, while the bank may charge you for extras and other services not included in the offer. That is why, it’s very important you ask the bank operator to explain you the terms of the contract before you sign it.
How much does it cost?
If you earn less than 11.600 euro a year, you don't need to pay any registration or annual fees on the account.
If you earn more than 11.600 euro a year you will need to pay a low yearly fee, which may vary depending on the bank. For example, Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco Poste offer this service for 30 euro a year, while Unicredit 48 euro, and Banca Etica 54 euro.
How can I open a conto di base?
To open a conto di base you will most likely need to make an appointment with one of the banks or the Poste Italiane offices in your area. The procedure may vary from bank to bank, that is why it's a good idea to visit the branch to ask for more information.
What documents do I need to have to open a conto di base?
When you go to the bank or the post office, you must bring along with you the following documents:
- A valid permesso di soggiorno, or the receipt proving you filed your asylum request in Italy (to be valid it has to have a picture, and reports place and date of birth) to prove your identity.
- Codice fiscale - both temporary and permanent ones.
- ISEE to prove you make less than 11.600 euro a year.
Do I need to show my carta di identità?
Short answer: no, you don’t need to show your carta di identità. Mind that this rule is valid only if you are opening a conto corrente di base.
Recently the Italian Bank Association (‘ABI - Associazione Bancaria Italiana’ in Italian) and the Poste Italiane made clear that asylum-seekers can open a conto di base only with their valid permesso di soggiorno - which often has the codice fiscale written on it.
📌 Tip: to avoid any problem when opening a conto di base without a carta di identità, ASGI suggests to print and bring with you this paper if you go to a Poste Italiane office, or this one, if you go to a bank.
What if I am not an asylum-seeker but I still don’t have a carta di identità?
If you hold another permesso di soggiorno that allows you to get the carta di identità, we suggest you first register in the local anagrafe, and then consider other banking services available.
You can get more information by checking banks or Poste Italiane websites.
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Who can help
If by any chance the bank or the Poste Italiane office still refuses your request to open a conto corrente di base, you can report it to:
- ASGI Servizio antidiscriminazione, by calling +393515542008 or sending an email to email@example.com
- UNAR, the National Office against Racial Discriminations, by calling the toll-free number 800901010, Monday to Friday from 8 am - 5 pm.
If you have any other questions on the conto corrente di base, drop us a private message on Facebook.