Italian branch of Unicredit Banca for foreigners | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/ALESSANDRO CONTALDO
Italian branch of Unicredit Banca for foreigners | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/ALESSANDRO CONTALDO

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has said that asylum seekers must only show their stay permit to be able to open an account. The statement came after several reports of rejections by different banks and post offices.

The Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI) reports that the Italian Banking Association (ABI) on April 19 circulated a statement to general directors and section heads of associated banks clarifying that asylum seekers need only to show their stay permits to be able to open a basic current account. 


'Stay permit to open account'

The ABI statement noted that a stay permit is suitable for opening an account, as is a receipt of the request for one, which serves as a temporary stay permit. The receipt must, however, include a photo of the person, be issued by the state administration and indicate the name and date of birth of the one making the request. ASGI stressed that both a stay permit and a receipt of the request for one, so long as it has a photo of the one making the request, is sufficient. 

Rejecting request to open account 'discriminatory' 

The banking association also provided key clarification on fiscal codes, saying that, to the best of its knowledge, ''until 2017, an 11-digit temporary fiscal code was given. More recently, 16-character alphanumeric fiscal codes have been assigned to everyone filing a request (for asylum)." 

''In both cases,'' it said, ''these are fiscal codes generated through IT procedures specifically for this purpose, created to meet certain needs and, on the basis of the above, must be considered valid from the point of view of the financial administration." ASGI underscored that ''thanks to the ABI clarification, the refusal to open a basic current account for asylum seekers, opposed by some banks and post office especially, is discriminatory for access to a basic service.''
 

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