Review: Fineco, the New Bank

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If you live in Italy maybe you’ve already heard the name “Fineco”, since probably it’s the bank that most advertise on tv, newspapers and on the web. It’s not a chance Fineco is one of the leading online banks in Europe, with something like 750,000 customers.

Fineco’s has a very interesting bank account offer, that has a few peculiarity:

  • interest rates depends on the money you have on your account:
    • on the first 2,000 Euros, it’s acknowledged a 0.25% rate (gross)
    • on the sum beyond 2,000 Euros, you’ll receive a 3.25% gross rate (2.3725% after taxes)
  • the account requires a fee of 5.95 Euros/month (but it’s unclear if taxes are included in the fee), that however can be reduced depending on how you use the account. In fact, you obtain a 1-Euro reduction for every of the following operations in the month:
    • 300 Euros spent with credit or debt card;
    • salary credited on the accoung;
    • 2,000 Euros of stock, bond, shares bought or sold;
    • 10,000 Euros deposited in cash or other assets;
    • 2,000 Euros in securities or investment funds;
    • A little note: as it’s pretty obvious, the fee at most reaches zero. For example if you are eligible for a 7 Euros reduction, you simply don’t pay the fee, you don’t get credited of 7 – 5.95 = 1.05 Euros.

In conclusion, in my opinion, Fineco’s anvantages are quite clear:

  • It’s one of the main online banks, that should mean it should be quite experienced and reliable.
  • The “interesting interest rate” regards directly the bank account, that means you don’t have to worry to move your money to and from a saving account, as you’d have to do with ING Direct’s Conto Arancio or IWBank’s IWPower, with a risk of doing something wrong and found yourself with no liquidity (and therefore with your account in red, and the costly consequences this brings). Moreover, the 2,000 Euros limit is quite reasonable, since it’s the sumone may otherwise want to keep on the “normal” bank account, while investing the remaining in a saving account.
  • You can gain access to a very wide variety of investment: shares, funds, ETFs, securities, etc.
  • There are no expenses for tax payment and bill payments.
  • You can pay domestic money postal orders.
  • ATM withdrawals are free in all Italy.
  • You can deposit cash and checks in every bank branch of the Capitalia Group, that means over 2,000 branches in Italy.

Fineco has also a few disadvantages:

  • The maximum interest rate you can receive (3.25%) is lower than what some saving account offer: for example, Santander Consumer Bank offer a 4.35% gross rate.
  • On the web you found that some customers are unsatisfied of customer service: this may mean that, with so many customer (as we said, 750,000) it’s impossible not to have some who complain, or that with so many customers sometimes Fineco can have some difficulty in the service. Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to tell.

Italian translation of this post: Fineco “the new bank”

Banche e Risparmio [http://www.banknoise.com]

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