When sending money to or from Australia or New Zealand, you’ll need an Australian or New Zealand bank account in order to receive and send funds, and to make transactions whilst in either country. It will also make paying bills easier as you will be able to set up Direct Debits.
The banking systems in both Australia and New Zealand are highly sophisticated, with most major banks offering a large network of branches and ATMs that can be accessed nationwide or online. However, charges and tariffs can vary widely depending on which bank you choose.
Notably, Commonwealth Bank of Australia are one of the bigger banks down under – they have a widespread ATM network and have a UK-based office that can introduce you to a Premier Relationship manager in the UK and to a financial planner once you arrive in Australia.
New Zealand’s major banks are ANZ Bank New Zealand, ASB, Bank of New Zealand, Kiwibank and Westpac. But again, there may be another group that is more suited to your individual banking needs.
There are a number of considerations to bear in mind when deciding which bank is best for you and so do your research and select a bank that suits your needs.
Consider some of the following points to help you choose the right bank:
When searching for a bank account, always aim to compile a checklist of what is important to you.
Have a look at various banks – visit different branches in person and search online – and check out the special products available.
You can apply for most Australian bank accounts on the condition that you:
Before applying you should read the bank’s Privacy Information, Terms and Conditions, Interest Rates and Fees and Charges for your choice of account.
To apply you will need:
Just like a new Australian bank account, overseas nationals moving to New Zealand are generally advised to open a NZ bank account before you arrive in the country; a relatively straightforward process. You can even set up a bank account up to a year before you arrive.
An application can be made online, via telephone or by post. But this will need to be done at least 10 days before you arrive in New Zealand.
However, even once your account has been opened and you have transferred funds into it through a currency transfer company, you are unlikely to be given full access to your account from overseas. This means that will almost certainly not be able to make withdrawals until you arrive in New Zealand and your identification verification is complete.
The benefits of setting up an account before you arrive in New Zealand:
For security reasons, most banks will not send cheque books and ATM/debit cards to overseas addresses. If you don’t yet have an address in New Zealand to send them to, they will need to be collected from the branch.