There are few domestic New Zealand banks as the sector is dominated by four Australian banks which make up nearly 90% of the banking sector and over 70% of the financial sector as a whole.

Whilst none had engaged in the riskier activities that saw many global banks hit hard during the global financial crisis, the fact that the sector is highly correlated with the economy may be a cause for concern.

Opening a bank account is easy isn't it? There's not much to choose between the main banks; they're all the same? Let the Emigration Store help you choose your banking partner in New Zealand.

 

ANZ Bank New Zealand

ANZ: Moving to New Zealand

Background

ANZ in New Zealand has its origins in London in 1840 when an Australian bank agreed to extend its services into NZ. The bank aims not to be Kiwi or Australian but rather a global bank. It is the largest bank in NZ and accounts, on its own, for about 1% of NZ GDP. It also finances over 30% of all home loans and of all the employees in NZ's finance and insurance sector, nearly 20% work for ANZ.

Current account

ANZ offers a 'Migrant Banking Package' with a range of products and services bundled in. It is designed as a one-stop shop. The ANZ Freedom Account gives you unlimited transactions with no fee (NZ$5 a month) if you deposit NZ$2,500 monthly.

Alternatively, you can avoid account and transaction fees by banking electronically (NZ$3 per manual withdrawal fee applies) with the 'Go' account.

Credit Card

There are four main types of credit card – Lower Interest, Cash Reward, Travel Reward and Lower Annual Fee. Depending on your financial circumstances and particular requirements you can choose which is best for you. If you meet certain minimum requirements, when you take out a new ANZ credit card the annual fee will be waived for the first year.

A typical Low Rate card will offer a Purchase Interest rate of 13.9% and an annual fee of NZ$58 per year. A typical Low Fee card will have an annual fee of NZ$30 per year and a Purchase Interest rate of 19.95%. A typical Cash Back card will have a NZ$60 annual fee, a Purchase Interest Rate of 19.95% and a combination of points and cash back with a minimum spend of NZ$5,000 to qualify.

Loan

Personal loans are available ranging from 6 months to seven years with a minimum of NZ$3,000 – they incur a one-off loan approval fee of NZ$250 and, if the amount is less than NZ$10,000 the interest rate is 17.95% per year. For loans over that amount that rate is 16.95%.

Financial Planning / Other Products

As the largest banking group in New Zealand ANZ offer the full range of products and services you would expect such as Mortgages, Insurance, Investments and financial planning.

 

Westpac Banking Corp - NZ

Westpac: Moving to New Zealand

Background

With origins stretching back to 1861, Westpac is one of the largest banks in New Zealand. It has over 200 branches and 1.2million customers.

Current account

Westpac NZ has a dedicated 'Migrant Banking & Expatriate Team' offering the ability to set up your bank account and apply for a credit card before you leave (up to 12 months).

A typical account with unlimited transactions incurs fees of NZ$9.95 a month though this can be reduced if you maintain a (relatively high) account balance.

If you are prepared to do everything electronically, including receiving statements, then you can get an electronic account with no fee (although any manual transactions incur a NZ$3 fee)

Credit Card

If you have opened up a bank account before moving to NZ, you can also apply for a credit card.
A typical low rate card offers a purchase interest rate of 12.95% a year with an annual fee of NZ$65.
A typical low fee card has a purchase rate of 19.95% and an annual fee of NZ$44.
A typical rewards card has a purchase rate of 19.95% and an annual fee of NZ$125.

Loan

Westpac offers personal loans with a single establishment fee of NZ$250, terms up to five years (though can be longer depending on your circumstances), up to NZ$50,000 unsecured and rates between 16.25% and 17.95%.

Financial Planning / Other Products

Westpac NZ also offers the full range of banking services you would expect, including mortgages, insurance, investment and financial planning.

 

Bank of New Zealand

BNZ: Moving to New Zealand

Background

The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) traces its origins back to Auckland in 1861 but, in 1992, it was bought by National Australia Bank. Today it operates as a fully independent subsidiary, employing over 5,000 people in NZ.

Current account

BNZ have a dedicated migrant team in the UK who will help you set up an account before you leave but will need to be activated following security checks on your arrival in NZ.

A typical basic account will have a fee of NZ$3.50 per month with full range of access options e.g. branch, online mobile etc.

Credit Card

There are several options for credit cards, ranging from low purchase interest rate to rewards.
A typical low rate card will have a purchase interest rate of 12.95% and an account fee of NZ$5 monthly.
A typical standard card will have a purchase interest rate of 19.95% and an account fee of NZ$30 per year.

Loan

Loans are available subject to personal circumstances with terms up to 5 years. Interest rates are 17.85% with a NZ$250 loan facility fee.

Financial Planning / Other Products

BNZ also has a wide range of other products available such as insurance, home loans and investments.

 

ASB

ASB: Moving to New Zealand

Background

Founded in 1887 in Auckland, the Auckland Savings Bank became part of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia group in the 1990's. Well-known for being innovative, they were the first to introduce internet banking, branches open 7 days a week and mobile banking.

Current account

Under the auspices of CBA in London, you can set an account with ASB before leaving the UK.
If you join ASB you will get a bundled package account with no fees on your bank account or credit card for 6 months. If you move to online statements, your 'Streamline' account remains fee-free after this 6-month period.

Credit Card

Low rate cards typically have aNZ$13.5% purchase interest rate and an annual fee of NZ$20.
A typical low fee card may have a purchase interest rate of 19.95% and an NZ$40 annual fee.
A typical rewards card may have a purchase interest rate of 19.95% and an NZ$40 annual fee.

Loan

You can take out a personal loan with typical rates of 14.95% secured or 17.95% unsecured, up to 7 years and with a NZ$250 loan establishment fee.

Financial Planning / Other Products

ASB Bank also has the full range of other products and services such as home loans, investments, insurance and advice.