Australian Dollar Bank Account


Frequent Poster

In light of the current economic woes, I am interested in transferring some of my ROI € savings into other currencies. One that particularly interests me is Australian Dollar AUD.

  • Has anyone any experience of opening an AUD account?
  • What banks can you open it with?
  • Is it possible to open the account with an Australian bank, based in Australia, i.e. have a non-resident deposit / current account guaranteed by the Australian government?
The reason I would like to open an AUD account is that I feel it may be prudent to have some of my money in a currency which is based on a natural resource intensive economy - diversify etc.

I understand, and indeed fear, the inherent foreign exchange risks. However i also believe these are exceptional times and am willing to put a portion of my savings in a foreign currency.



Frequent Poster
NIB offers AUD accounts and can be accessed off eBanking. You are right, the fx risk should be your main concern, not interest rate. AUD/EUR can swing 20% +/- in a matter of months depending on commodity markets etc. Having said that, you mention putting money into another currency as a form of diverisification. Perhaps you should be thinking about e.g. buying equities in different currencies, that way you are not caught by the issues around whether the account is locally domiciled (ireland) or foreign (in australia) domiciled


Registered User
I am a Non resident and I opened 2 seperate bank accounts yesterday with Westpac in Brisbane.

All you need is a passport for the Choice (Current) account and a working phone if you want a (high interest earning) eSaver account.

As a first time customer I receive 6 months free banking:

Telephone Banking (automated)
Telephone Banking (staff assisted)
Online Banking
Westpac Group branded ATM ( They own St George too)
EFTOS (Electronics Funds Transfer at Poin of Sale)
Cheque Withdrawals
Direct Debits
Branch Staff - Assisted Withdrawals

After the 6 months you may continue to receive free banking as long as you transfer at least $2,000 into the Choice account every month (It can be taken back out after 24hrs). This can be done from the eSaver account and as interest is earned on a daily basis and there is no fee for moving monies around it is quiet convenient as long as you remember to do it. If not, after the 6 months you pay a small fee of $5 a month which gives you unlimited use the above.

The eSaver currently is giving me 5.8% interest but after 4 months I will lose .75%! There is another option of earning a further .2% if you frequently use the account.

Wespac is one of the 4 large banks in Australia and your deposit / current account is guaranteed by the Australian government. You will have to google this as I cannot post links.

I am not 100% up to date on this but it seems that I need to present the bank with a Tax File Number (TFN) or else they will tax me at a rate which I am taxed in my country of residence. I cannot apply for the TFN until I get my first statement from the bank to say that my interest was taxed. But I will keep you posted.

P.S I am currently in Australia but I can give you the details of 2 really nice guys in the bank (Finance guy and the bank manager) you could contact in relation to opening the account from abroad.

I hope this helps....


Frequent Poster

Thanks for the reply - just sent you a private message for the contact peoples details

Be aware that because your account will be outside the EU, you will have to declare interest earned to Revenue here and pay tax at your marginal rate rather than just the DIRT rate. (Assuming you are resident in Ireland)


Frequent Poster
I'm thinking of using my sister who is Oz to open an account and transfer money to her? Will there be a hefty charge on the transfer?

Is it feasible to have the money in her name?

Giving her cash is an option as my parents are over in Jan , but it would be a hefty sum - i guess there would be issues with that?


Large savings transfer to Australian Dollar bank account


I am a first time poster (first post on any forum) and would be most grateful of any advice anybody can give on my situation. My situation is similar to WarrenBuffet but with some differences.

Over the last week I have been searching through the threads here for any relevant info (lots found, thanks) but still have a few queries. I hope this isn't too long winded but need to explain my situation so here goes:

Due to the great concern over the Euro, some members of my family are interested in protecting some savings, about €50,000. Some media advice has mentioned the AU$ as a possible "safer" currency.

I was in Australia on a working holiday visa in 2008/9 and at the time held a bank account with a major Australian bank. This included a current a/c and a regular savings a/c with a 4.5% interest rate with easy online access. A few days ago I recovered my online log in for this a/c and discovered the a/c is still active as I have a nominal amount still in the a/c.

None of my family, myself included, have any experience in currency trading etc so are considering transferring much of these savings to my Australian bank a/c.

My questions are:
1) Is this advisable or a bad idea entirely? If bad, any other alternatives?
2) Is this legal?
3) What are the approx costs of the international transfer? Are the costs charged per transfer regardless of amount, or would such a large amount carry a large transfer charge?
5) I need to declare interest earned to Revenue. Would I be taxed in Australia also or will I be exempt from this if I inform the bank?
6) I pay lower rate of PAYE. I think this means I pay low DIRT?
7) Are there any other major pitfalls I may not have thought about, other than the obvious exchange rate risks?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated,


Registered User
Paul, I don't believe there is anything illegal about opening an account outside of the State but you do have to declare any interest earned to Revenue. check out other threads here about rate of tax payable. You should declare to Aus that you are a non-resident and check re tax on interest there. I do not have any connection to Transfermate whatsoever and I have used them in the past to transfer funds.It was on other threads here thatI came across this company. They will beat any rate the banks will give. Give them a ring and they will fill you in on the details re registering, costs etc. There are costs per transfer but the larger the amount the lower the cost. I can't recall the cost but it is very small. I know there are exchange risks but I can assure I have slept better knowing that my hard earned savings have a greater amount of security than if I left them here. I am prepared to forego a higher rate of interest that I would get here and possible loss on exchange. With the way things are going I'd rather lose 10% than 30%. Nobody knows whats going to happen but we should all be prepared. I have a small amount of savings left here and tomorrow I am transferring most of them to sterling and canadian dollars and store them in a safe place. Let nobody be under any illusion that a run on the banks has not taken place here. There may be no queues outside the banks - there does'nt have to be - everything is now done electronically. There may very well be a lot of scaremongering out there. I honestly don't believe there will be a Punt Nua. Maybe a 2-speed euro as David McWilliams wrote about inthe Business Post yesterday. More likely the ECB will be forced to print which will result in a devaluation of the Euro. A lot of experts are of the opinion that the euro is overvalued by up to 30%. Nevertheless, it is holding strong despite all the bad news. Actually, yesterdays Business Post was well worth buying.


Capilano, thanks very much for your quick reply, much appreciated.

Can I ask how you are transferring your savings to Sterling and Canadian Dollars?
Do you simply have accounts in Irish Banks in these currencies or have you accounts in the UK and Canada, or do you trade currencies on the foreign exchange markets?

I assume there is little point in holding savings in accounts in Irish banks in foreign currencies as the banks may not be able to pay out in the event of a Euro collapse?


Registered User
Paul, i have accounts in UK and Canada and transfer funds to them from my bank account here via transfermate. I really don't know what the situation would be with foreign currency in an Irish account. I'm no expert but I can't see the euro collapsing totally. I think the ECB will have to print the trillions to get europe out of the mess. In the meantime, I'm happier to have mymoney out of euro until we see what happens.


Thanks again for the advice capilano, I think we'll go ahead with the transfer to my Australian a/c in the coming days. Cheers for the tip about transfermate also.

Hope it worked out ok for you WarrenBuffet, sorry for hijacking your thread!


Registered User
This is my first time, to look for advice. I see that you are recommending moneymate for transferring money, is this a reputable company ? I am sorry if this seems like an odd question but I am a complete novice. I want to transfer euro to sterling, for the same reasons as these posters.


Frequent Poster
Hi. We have used transfermate, normally deal with a lady Annmarie there and have always found them very efficient.reliable and quick. I have not been able to beat their rate of exchange anytime so far and I do check, every time. I was very nervous first time as I was concerned in case the money didn't "make it" :) Call them and I don't think you will be disappointed. I have no connection with them or their employees, just a satisfied client.


Hi WarrenBuffet, I just read your post about transferring some savings to Australia and wondered if you went ahead with it, and how you got on? I'm considering doing the same thing as my Irish bank is dropping their deposit interest rate to 2% from 01/12/11. I'm no financial expert, and have never done anything like this before, so you can understand that I'm petrified of jeopardising our life savings!!! :confused: Could you tell me what steps you had to take, and if you're happy with your decision? And I'm assuming it's all legal? Thanks so much for your help :)


Frequent Poster
I'm totally confused how non residents of Australia...who do not have an Australian tax file number can operate bank accounts in Australia. Even if you could open the account how would you manage the tax element on the Australian side and would you not have to pay tax in Ireland also.


Registered User
Hello allenk
(P.S I am currently in Australia but I can give you the details of 2 really nice guys in the bank (Finance guy and the bank manager) you could contact in relation to opening the account from abroad.)
I wonder if you could pass on these details to me also as I am looking into a similar option. With thanks. trumpet


Hi allenk,

me too - I'd like these details as I'm in a similar situation and getting pretty freaked out about my savings. I can't see how to private message you though.



Registered User
Hi Allenk.
I would be greatful if you could give me details of the bank in Australia as I am interested in opening an account there. Not sure how you can e-mail details to me. Thanks for help.


Registered User
Hi Folks,

I recently relocated to Aus for work. Before I arrived I was able to open an account online with National Australia Bank (NAB) via their website ( The account was open in no time at all and I got a letter emailed back to me with all my account details. The account was up and running straight away and I was even able to transfer money to the account before I arrived in Aus. The only snag was that to withdraw money etc. I had to personally walk in to a branch of the bank in Aus and present my passport before the account was fully activated. My bank card had already been printed and all and they were able to hand it to me as soon as I showed my passport. I was never asked for any tax number or anything else.

The interest rate they give is 4.4% pa with an 1% pa introductory offer for the first 4 months. Interest is paid monthly. Internet banking is also easy to set up and use.

Hope the above information might be of use to you.