Opening an Australian Bank account from the UK

  1. peter 7 years ago

    i am an australian citizen currently residing in the uk and would like to take advantage of the current interest rates i oz before finally retiring there. can i do this ?

    • Profile photo of Mark Author
      Mark 7 years ago

      Hi Peter

      I’m note sure mate,

      I have still have a number of current accounts in the UK although I opened these when I lived there. On the other hand, if I wanted to take advantage of the low rates in England for a personal loan for example, I wouldn’t be able to as I’d need to be a UK resident to qualify.

      Unless you still own a residence in Australia then I would assume that the same would apply to yourself also.

      All the best



  2. Ben 7 years ago

    Opened my account through Westpac online, got a phone call from someone in their London office about 15 mins after pressing the submit button in case I had any questions.

    They also recommend using a broker (HIFX) and not the bank to do foreign currency transactions. Setting this up was really easy – I even transferred the cash before my Australian bank account was open since the rate was good at the time – you instruct the broker to buy the AUD, transfer to them the requied GBP, then you can enter the destination bank account within 30 days soon as it’s set up (Westpac take approx 5 days).

    Hope that’s useful

  3. pozz 7 years ago

    Have just returned from Australia and note their bank savings rates
    are much better that the UK. Can I as a UK citizen open an account
    there? I’m thinking of opening a Westpac 5 year deposit account offering an 8% p.a. interest return.

    • Profile photo of Mark Author
      Mark 7 years ago

      I’m afraid not mate, you can open an account from the UK however you’d need to be a resident before you could use it.

      I do wonder If I could take out a mortgage in the UK though ;)


  4. Ronald 7 years ago

    I’ve read that Citibank have a special ‘backpackers account’. It’s especially designed for people on working holiday visas (e.g. me!) so might be useful to someone out there.

  5. Ken 8 years ago

    I’ve just opened an account with ANZ and want to tell you that it was extremely easy to do so. All I had to do was fill out the form and post it to their London office. The form’s available on their website but I had several copies of it already as they hand them out at every emigration show.
    The account I’ve chosen (V2 Plus) requires a minimum initial deposit of $5,000 (but that then means there are no monthly account charges and it pays interest). Although it is described as an “initial deposit” ANZ are pragmatic and so set up the account and then give you time to make the deposit afterwards via an FX specialist (I’m using Halo Financial). Note that I won’t be able to make any withdrawals until I’ve visited an ANZ branch in Australia to “identify” myself. I have to visit Australia next month to validate my visa anyway so that’s not an issue for me. As I’ll definitely have been in Australia for less than six weeks all I’ll need for identity is my (entry stamped) passport. I e-mailed ANZ before opening the account and they confirmed that I don’t need an Australian address.
    Note that although I have permanent residency and do intend to move in the future there’s been no mention of a need for this from ANZ so as long as Cameron is going to visit Australia I don’t see why he can’t open an account with them.

  6. Tony Loeckenhoff 8 years ago

    I work for NAB (National Australia Bank) and we have a dedicated Migrant Banking solution for people planning the move to Australia. With NAB you can open an account 12 months before you are planning to get here and you receive a dedicated migrant banker to assist you in Australia irrespective of the amount of money you are bringing with you. There is no charge to set up the account and fees are waived until you arrive in Australia and meet your new bank manager. You can apply online at the website listed and you will receive your account in 24 – 48 hours.

    Hope this assists some of you.

    • Cameron 8 years ago

      Does anyone have any information on opening a bank account in Australia from the UK if I have no intention of moving there.
      I have family members there that I would like to give access to money without having to keep making transfers to them from here.

      I live in London and would like to simply “stock pile” some reserves so that when they do need the money it is easily transferrable from my Aus account into theirs via online banking.



      • Profile photo of Mark Author
        Mark 8 years ago

        I don’t think this would be possible Cameron.

        Think of the benefits if you were into a little thing called tax evasion. Folks would have a field day ;)

  7. Frank 8 years ago

    I tried to open an account with HSBC Australia from the UK. However I was told in an HSBC London branch that this service would cost me £150.00!

    Will therefore go with an Australian bank.

  8. Profile photo of Mark Author
    Mark 9 years ago

    Excellent! Thanks so much for the info Marilyn. We have many Americans visiting us here at Getting Down under so details on how to open an Australian bank account from the United States will prove very useful to quite a few people I’m sure :D



  9. Marilyn 9 years ago

    I used HSBC to open my Australian account. I had an HSBC daily checking account, high yield savings account, and several credit cards, all through American branches. I simply walked into my local HSBC branch, explained that I was moving to Australia in April and needed to open an Account with HSBC in Melbourne (they have offices in other capital cities too). They did all the paperwork for me, I made the initial transfer through OzForex (gave me a better rate than HSBC) and then received a letter at my US address confirming the account had been set up. A few days before I left the US, I called HSBC in Melbourne and confirmed that they had indeed received my initial transfer. I arrived in Melbourne on Thursday, on Friday I went into the HSBC branch on Collins Street, signed one form, showed them my passport, and collected my ATM card, pin number, and online bank code. It was SO easy!!!

    I hope this helps someone with this critical dilemma.


  10. Profile photo of Mark Author
    Mark 9 years ago

    Hi Chani, this is a tricky one… Do you pay your Credit card bill in full each month? If so it could be an idea to put your credit card balance into ‘credit’, this way you could still utilise the credit card without having to transfer money back to Australia to pay the bills as frequently.

    Just an idea anyways :)



  11. Chani 9 years ago


    As an Aussie living in the UK I am trying to find a way to transfer money from my UK bank account to my Australian bank account for free or low cost. It is currently costing me £19.50 per transaction (ouch!). As the banking system here is totally un-user friendly and despite having a permanent job, I cannot get a credit card in the UK (they tell me it’s because I have no credit history in the UK) and so keep having to use my Australian one – and send back repayments every month. Any suggestions?

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