Best Italian banks

So you’ve moved to Italy. You did it! But, before you pop open that nice bottle of prosecco and celebrate a fait accompli, you might want to open an Italian bank account in your new dream city.

“Another thing to do? Oh brother, bank accounts are a nightmare.” I hear you. After getting residency or a visa, along with all the other requirements to move to Italy, you’re probably exhausted by now. But have no fear! Take a chill pill, gather the courage to do one more important thing, and check out our top picks for best Italian banks for expats!

Best Italian banks

These are some of the best banks in Italy.

Unicredit

The most popular and most trusted by Italians, Unicredit has the strongest financial clout in all of Italy. Unicredit is always rated number 1 on the international stage, which might explain its strong reputation.

They also have locations absolutely every across Italy, so you’ll never have to go far to find a branch or an ATM, or “bancomat” in Italian.

Intesa Sanpaolo

In terms of assets, market capitalization, branch count, and staff, Intesa Sanpaolo is the largest bank in Italy. It is one of the major banks in the eurozone, including services for retail, corporate, and SME customers, as well as high-net-worth people. It is headquartered in Turin. It has 4670 domestic branches and 1000 branches and 19 representative offices in Italy, serving around 15 million customers.

Similar to Unicredit, Intesa Sanpaolo among the 2nd highest rated Italian banks. They’re popular among Italians, and you can find their branches practically everywhere. They also offer plenty of banking options to clients and their families, including investments and insurance packages. Convenient!

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, founded as an investment banking organisation for national promotion, is Italy’s third-largest bank by assets, with headquarters in Rome. The bank’s major owners include the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which has given it an advantage in being the custodian for Italian Postal Savings, which is one of the bank’s main sources of funding. The bank’s total assets were €425.1 billion at the end of 2018, with loans totaling €105 billion.

Banco BPM

With 4 million customers, Banco BPM is Italy’s fourth-largest bank, with the majority of its branches located in Lombardy, Veneto, and Piedmont. It is the outcome of a January 2017 merger between the cooperative banks Banco Popolare and Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM). The bank’s headquarters are in Milan and Verona, and it employs 25,000 employees. The bank’s assets were valued at €160.5 billion on its balance sheet at the end of 2018.

ING

If you’re an expat, you might be looking for a bank with a bit more international clout. If so, check out ING!

The only catch? They’re not very common. In my city of Turin, there are only 2 of them for the whole region. Bad news if you need cash on the fly!

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro BNL

Another strong bank, BNL, or Banco Nazionale del Lavoro, is ubiquitous across Italy. The benefits? BNL offers a loyalty program called “payback”, which allows clients to get money back for purchases on certain goods. Can’t beat that

The Italian Government took over the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in 1929, after it was founded in 1913 under a different name. The bank was bought by a private company in 1988, a few decades ago. BNP Paribas, a French banking corporation, bought the bank in 2006.

The Banca Nazionale del Lavoro has its headquarters in Rome and is one of the country’s largest banks. It offers a variety of banking services to its customers, including savings accounts, current accounts, credit and debit cards, insurance, cash management, and more. In the beginning, the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro had an international branch in Argentina. However, in 2006, this location was sold to HSBC.

Poste Italiane

Although they might be a better fit for teens or younger expats in the family, one great benefit to having a BancoPosta account is that account holders receive a normal debit card, which can then be refilled by parents or other family. This allows younger account holders to have all the convenience (and responsibility) of their own Visa card.


The cover image is somewhere in Piazzale Michelangelo, Firenze, Italy. Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash