Friday, 18 February 2022

Bank balance

Last week MrFF spent almost a full day trying to close our Italian bank account and transfer our money and direct debits for water, electricity etc to our new euro account.  

Our Italian bankers continue to give us the run around.   They said to close the account we had to send a secure email, from the same postal account we used to attempt to unblock the internet device we have from our phone supplier, that got us nowhere and cost is 12 euro.  We sent the email.  The bank then said we had to return our unused cheques and bank cards by registered post, which doesn’t exist to Europe although there is a track and trace option.  We are more than reluctant to send these documents in the post.  So many things from the UK to Italy have been lost or greatly delayed over the years, even if we cut up everything the details could still be legible and available for say online fraud.

Our utility providers are just as useless, they say they will not accept direct debits from a bank outside Italy.  You might think that as long as the bills are paid in full on time in the correct currency it’s immaterial where the money comes from, you would be wrong. 

It’s all really stressful and chatting recently I suggested to MrFF that he forget about the admittedly annoying fact that we would continue to pay the now increased sum of 16 euro per month for our bank to keep our money and provide no service until we return to Italy.  Then we can take a 3 hour round trip to our bank, because of course we cannot deal with a more local branch, present our cards and books and whatever else they need, pay the required fee to close the account because obviously removing your own dosh is not free.  Even if we have to take our money away in a bag we can finally say goodbye after 20 years of irritatingly shoddy service.  It makes sense to me but to a Yorkshireman paying good money for nothing albeit saving your mental health is a complete anathema.

I have no idea what will happen next, at least my amaryllis just gets better and better


  1. Nothing is simple any more is it.

    Lovely amaryllis.

  2. So frustrating for you! But your amaryllis is a joy to behold! Do you know that particular plant's name?

  3. Hi Jenny,
    I don't normally comment on your blog, but I wanted to say that we are in exactly the same position with our bank in Spain. We visited with all the papers requested in September but now the account is blocked again (also at the cost of 16 euros per month). We have changed over to a euro account ( at that well known bank named after a bird). we were told in Spain that the water suppliers wouldn't accept a non Spanish bank for payment, but by visiting our local office have managed to set that up. The only company who won't are the telecom people, who are an international company anyway! We'd love to be free of the Spanish banking system altogether. Good Luck - I feel your pain!

  4. Good grief, what a pain. We have been very happy with our French bank since we changed a couple of years ago. Prior to that the service from HSBC France was dismal.
    I do hope you get it sorted soon.

  5. That sounds so complicated and frustrating to deal with.

  6. How stressful it all sounds. I hope that it's not made your tension too tight if you're knitting anything currently! Your amaryllis is looking splendid!