hello, I have just reached an agreement

Anita Kongson Image
06/22/2019 - 09:17

hello, I have just reached an agreement to sell my property in Rome, but the buyer has insisted on paying using bankers cheque (Assegno Circolare) rather than transfer the funds to my foreign account in the UAE. The real estate agent has informed me that in Italy, the buyer has a right to choose the mode of payment, so i cannot insist on another mode of payment. As i do not have a bank account in Italy, the real estate agent has adviced that I open a bank account to deposit and cash the cheque, and then arrange to make the transfer from there to my foreign account. As i am not familiar with many Italian laws, friends have warned me to be very cautious but have't really given me any viable solutions. I am hoping that someone on the forum will be able to guide me on how best to resolve this dilemma.many thanks for your help!Anita 



Hi.  If you are able to deposit the bankers draft at a UK bank branch, you could perhaps apply online to open a Euro denominated account with Lloyds International (although you may have to apply for a sterling-denominated account first in order to become eligible).  Then deposit your bankers draft and, once it has cleared, transfer the money to your account in the UAE.  Barclays also offer a Euro account, but I'm not sure whether you can apply online.If you need to convert the proceeds from Euros to Dirhams, then you can simply instruct an online currency exchange company (who offer much better exchange rates than banks) to convert your Euros to Dirhams and deposit them in your UAE account.  I've converted GBP to Euros recently (to buy a house in Italy), and have been watching the rates offered by companies like Smart Currency Exchange, Currencies Direct, TorFX, Transferwise and Virgin Money.  I've found that Virgin are offering the best conversion rate recently on GBP-EUR (Transferwise appear to offer the best rate but also charge a percentage fee).  Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious.

Hello, and thank you so much for taking the time to assist with my query. And, NO, you are not stating the obvious; definitely not as this is all very new to me. I've lived in Italy for about a year and still find it very difficult to grasp many things...! The thing is, I do not own a UK account either, so I'll either have to open a onlne account as with Llyods or an Italian bank and transfer to the UAE from there. many thanks again and so sorry for consuming your time in this way.kind regards,Anita

Hi again.  It's not a dumb question at all.  The banks I mentioned are UK banks who no longer appear to have retail branches in Italy, so I wondered whether you might be able to get to the UK to deposit your bankers draft.  Alternatively, you may like to look into opening an account with a more international bank like HSBC or Citibank, who may have retail branches in Italy and in the UAE.  

I just realised that I didn't answer your question about being able to deposit your bankers draft with a currency exchange company.  The truth is, I don't know.  I know that online you can opt to pay by online transfer, or using a debit card, but I'm not sure they would accept a bankers draft from you.  Well worth contacting them to check, though.  If it is a sufficiently large amount, they may be flexible enough to find a way to accommodate you.  Several of these forex companies have told me that they have commercial accounts with Barclays (in Milan, I think) so perhaps that's something you could ask about.

Hello Anitathe Barclays bank in Italy, no longer has functioning bank branches, for several years already - but you have two ways you can go, to screw up the check and transfer your money wherever you want.the first is to open a current account taken from an Italian bank, deposit the check in your current account (which will be a foreign current account) and then - 1> ask the bank to transfer it to your foreign bank - 2> use a financial company such as Transfertwise or similar, to make the transferThe second is to bring you, at an office of the Italian finance guard, to declare that you want to transfer that check abroad (obviously with the documentation showing the reason why you hold that check) - The finance guard , with the necessary technical time, after having done the necessary research on the origin of the money - you will be given a currency export document which you will have to show at the customs office, at the airport or railway or other customs, from which you will leave Italy - to prevent you from imprisoning you for illegal currency trading. upon arrival, you will pay the check into your bank account. your bank will take 10 to 15 days to get the money from the Italian bank that issued the check.Ugo - by Lifeinitaly.it

In reply to by Ugo

Hello Ugo,thank you so much for taking the time to assist me.the option of opening a foreign current account in an italian bank is probably the easier option for me. would you know if it is a good idea to open this account with Poste Italiana, BNP or UniCredit? My estate agent tells me that the buyer's bank cheque is issued by Poste Italiana, so I'm not sure if it would be an idea to open my current 'foreign' account with them too? Secondly, do you know if there are any limitations (capping) as to how much I can transfer at one go to my Account abroad?many thanks again for all your help and i look forward to hearing from you again.best wishes,AK 

Anita ,I don't recommend Poste, they are excellent for Italy, and for small things, but finding an employee who speaks English could be difficult.I recommend Intesa bank, cashing the check will not cost you anything, it normally takes 24/72 hours, and the foreign account, for private individuals, has costs only for the operations that you will do there, but since soon after opened, and done the transfer, you will probably close it, me, in your place I wouldn't worry.You will hardly leave in the bank's coffers, anything more than 70 euros. except taxes - which, however, are calculated on the average amount for each year .. therefore, even these should not worry you.In which Italian region are you?

In reply to by Ugo

Thank you again, Ugo. I am in Nettuno (RM) and not sure if we have Intesa there, but I will find out. As the transaction with the Notary is taking place in Nettuno, should there not be an Intesa bank there, would you recommend UniCredit or BNP? These two are definitely there, otherwise I will go to Rome to find an Intesa branch there.what do you recommend in the absence of an Intesa?

NettunoINTESA SANPAOLO S.P.A.VIA ARMANDO DIAZ, 3Tel: 0698841100you can use even this link to find Intesa Agency >  https://www.intesasanpaolo.com/it/common/footer/ricerca-filiali.html

thank you so much, Ugo. i will check out the Nettuno branch and if they don't speak English, then I'll go to Rome. You have been very helpful indeed, and I will certainly contact you again if I need any further clarification regarding the matter.CordialmenteAK

Hello Ugo,coming back to your clarification about opening up a foreign current account with Intesa, does it matter that i have residence in italy but will be giving it up in August when i move to the UK? Are there any tax implications here? I do not have any income and have been living in the apartment since i bought it last year.thank you for your help again.Anita

if it is a foreign account, residence is not needed - but domiciliation - this is where you have to give the bank an address to send mail to - then in August, go to the bank, he says thanks, give an email address, where to send you communications for 2 3 months - and close the account -stop