Protection of bank deposits
Bank deposits are protected by deposit guarantee schemes.
There are two of these schemes in Italy: the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund (FITD) and the Depositors' Guarantee Fund (FGDCC).
The guaranteeing of deposits is governed by Directive 2014/49/EU, transposed into the Consolidated Law on Banking.
The FITD is a private law consortium established by Italian banks on a voluntary basis in 1987 that then became mandatory following the transposition of the EU directives.
All Italian banks are part of the FITD, except for cooperative credit banks, as are the branches of non-EU banks authorized in Italy, unless they are part of an equivalent foreign guarantee scheme. Italian branches of EU banks can join the FITD in order to supplement the guarantee provided by the guarantee scheme in the country of origin. The list of banks that are part of the FITD is available here
The purpose of the FITD is to guarantee the depositors of the member banks.
Depositors are refunded when a member bank is placed under compulsory administrative liquidation.
The FITD can also intervene in ways other than the refunding of depositors. These interventions can be defined as preventive when they aim to avoid a bank’s insolvency and as alternative when they consist in transferring a bank’s assets and liabilities in the event of compulsory administrative liquidation.
The financial resources needed for the FITD's interventions are made available by the member banks.
The FITD's activity is governed by the Statute and by the Regulation on the functioning of the Bodies as well as by Regulations on specific issues.
The Bank of Italy exercises specific supervisory powers regarding deposit guarantee schemes (Article 96-ter of Legislative Decree 385/1993).
All depositors with FITD member banks.
The FITD guarantees deposits of up to €100,000 per depositor. This limit is valid for each depositor, per individual bank.
If a depositor has more than one deposit in their name at the same bank, the accounts are cumulated and the guarantee limit of €100,000 is applied to the overall amount.
In the case of joint accounts, the relative balance is attributed in equal parts to each of the joint holders. The total in the joint accounts is added to the other deposits held by the same depositor in order to apply the guarantee up to €100,000.
The interest accrued up to the date of the order for the bank's compulsory administrative liquidation is also counted as part of the sum of the maximum limit of €100,000.
Temporary high balances
In some cases, the law provides stronger protection for some deposits in order to meet certain societal needs. These are the 'temporary high balances' that are governed by the FITD Statute.
'Temporary high balances' are composed of the deposits of natural persons for sums deriving from: a) operations for the transfer or formation of property rights (e.g. ownership) in residential properties; b) divorce, retirement, termination of employment, disability or death; and c) insurance payments, compensation or indemnities, in relation to damages considered by the law to be crimes against the person, or for wrongful imprisonment.
The limit of €100,000 does not apply to these types of operation for nine months from when the funds are credited to the account or become available.
In these cases, in the event of compulsory administrative liquidation, the FITD refund is paid after the depositor concerned has submitted a claim to the bank's liquidators. The claim must be submitted within 60 days of the date when the order of the compulsory administrative liquidation comes into force.
In order to guarantee deposits, an account is classified as 'dormant' if there have been no operations on it for 24 months prior to the date when the bank's compulsory administrative liquidation comes into force.
The FITD refunds the amounts in the dormant accounts within six months of that date. There is no refund for deposits of sums of less than €100.
In any case, the FITD's guarantee involves no costs for the depositor.
The Fund guarantees credits for funds received by banks with an obligation to repay them, in euros and in foreign currencies, in the form of deposits or in other forms, as well as cashier's cheques and analogous instruments.
The FITD's guarantee therefore extends to current accounts, demand or time deposit accounts (savings accounts), certificates of deposit and cashier's cheques.
Depositors can only be reimbursed in the event of the bank's compulsory administrative liquidation.
The reimbursement is carried out within seven working days of the date when the order of the bank's compulsory administrative liquidation comes into force.
There is no need for depositors to request reimbursement. The FITD proceeds with the reimbursement through its own agent bank.
No, bonds, repos and other investment instruments issued by the bank placed under compulsory administrative liquidation are not included in the protection provided by the FITD.
Are online banks guaranteed?
Banks that operate online are obliged to join the FITD just as all other banks are. Sometimes the name 'online banks' is not expressly attributable to an entity with a banking licence but to one of the bank's commercial products, which can therefore only be reimbursed if it is protected by the FITD.
Amounts over the coverage limit of €100,000 are not reimbursed by the FITD. The depositor's remaining credit is registered in the liabilities of the bank under compulsory administrative liquidation and can subsequently be considered in the distribution of the liquidation assets.