Italy: this bank closes your account if you do not use your money

Is this the start of the fight against current accounts where billions of euros lie dormant that are not used for the real economy, or for investments? If the trend remains in the minority, it begins to spread. From now on, it is Fineco bank which is tackling totally inactive current accounts.

Fineco announces: where you use your money, or you have your current account closed

The move was announced in a press release and was sure to come as a shock to Italians, although it affects only a tiny fraction of the bank accounts opened at the establishment: Fineco said it would close. totally inactive current accounts.

However, you have to be relatively wealthy to be affected: from May 18, 2021, current accounts will be closed if, in the previous three months, the account has more than 100,000 euros in cash, if it is not associated with a form of credit or the credit is not used and if it there are no associated savings or investment products. In short, if the account is nothing but a piggy bank.

The reason ? The negative rates of the ECB which cost the banks money, while the latter pay interest on the same sums. Admittedly, this interest is minimal, of the order of 0.1% per year, and is barely sufficient to cover the costs of an account in Italy … but they remain a net loss for the bank which is added to the negative rates of the ECB.

When N26 imposes a negative rate

While Fineco’s announcement came as a surprise, it is not the first bank to take steps to reduce dormant cash. The N26 neobank, of German origin but which offers its services in France and Italy, has already announced similar measures. It is the first bank in Europe to have taken this decision against individuals.

Since 1er October 2020, in France as in Germany or in Italy, as soon as the balance on the N26 account exceeds 50,000 euros over the month, a negative rate of 0.5% is applied.