Copyright 2013 by John T. Reed

A reader a just informed me that his attempt to open a bank account at ANZ Australia/New Zealand got the response below. As you might deduce from its initials, ANZ is in both countries. So is my bank in Australia, Westpac. He was basically told he had to physically go to New Zealand to open the acount. Make sure you also read the email below it where another reader had the exact opposite experience recently.

I do not necessarily conclude this is a bank-wide policy. It may be just a matter of if you ask ten different bankers at ten different branches of the same bank the same question you may get eight different answers.That is especially true if you send an email to the bank in general. I do not know if this reader sent it to the banker listed in my book or not. Also, I think a phone call is better for such things although it may not make a difference.

I have also written that in Australia and New Zeland they refer customers like me to the “migrant” department and that when I explained that I did not have definite plans to move to Australia, they pointed to their investor-type account which they group under the Migrant Department.

So physically go there.

But you protest, it’s so expensive.

My round-trip ticket to Auckland, New Zealand from San Francisco for March is $1,390.50. I am taking another round trip to Sydney from Auckland after a week in Auckland. After another week in Sydney, I will return home to SFO from AKL. And I am no skilled world traveler. Someone who worked harder at it and had more pertinent knowledge than I could probably find a cheaper ticket. Total flexibility with dates, use your points, off-season, get on the mailing list to hear about special low fares. Go to your local international airport when they are not busy and ask the counter clerk how to get the cheapest possible flight. They may or may not tell you but they probably know. Worth a try.

If any readers of this article know how to beat the price I got, please tell us what yours was and how you got it.

If your deposit would be small and stay small, like $5,000 or less, maybe you should just use Canada and/or go to Canada, buy Autralian and NZ cash and put it into a Canadian safe depoit box. If your deposit in Australia and/or New Zealand will be more than $5,000, and you do not want to put any money or any more money into Canada, Then go to Australia or New Zealnd. I will agree that the travel expense is a high percentage of $5,000, but it drops by each thousand dollars you increase the deposit amount. Plus, it appears to be a one-time thing so you would be able to amortize the up-front travel charges over the life of the acount.

If your alternative foreign deposit is no foreign deposit at all, you might even consider going there if you only have $2,000. For one thing, for most Americans it would be a new travel experience so you do not have to amortize the whole cost over the deposit. Take vacation in Australia and New Zealand. Secondly, there is a high probablity that money you leave in U.S. dollars will be rendered worthless by the Federal Reserve deliberately “printing” too many dollars. I repeat, worthless. So if you spend say $2,000 in travel expenses on a vacation/bank-account-opening trip to Australia or New Zealand, and make a $2,000 deposit there you will at least still have half of that travel-deposit money in the unhyperinflated ANZ account in Australian or New Zealand dollars. If you do not get your dollar-denominated assets into well-selected foreign currencies (which are totally liquid) or hard assets (where you need to be careful about liquidity), and the U.S. dollar tips over into hyperinflation, you will lose the entire value of your dollar-denominated assets.

It is also possible that this is a bank-wide change in policy at ANZ.

Here is the ANZ email:

Hello Mr. Reed,

I inquired about opening a bank account with ANZ, a bank mentioned in the Bibliography of Protect Your Life Savings From 'Flation (2nd. Ed.) They sent me back this email that I thought you might want to know about. Note the portion in red.

> Subject: RE: CU 607386;
> Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 16:02:21 +1100
> From:
> To:
> Thank you for your email dated 04/01/2012 regarding opening an account with
> ANZ.
> We offer two Australian bank accounts to overseas non-residents wishing to
> open an account before they arrive in Australia - One everyday transaction
> account (ANZ Access Advantage) and one savings account (ANZ Online Saver).
> In order to open an ANZ account in Australia from overseas, you can apply
> online via the link below:
> H000
> Should you have trouble completing the online application, you can call +61
> 3 8699 6943
> (if you reside outside the UK) 8am - 8pm (AEST), weekdays or +44 (0) 203 229
> 2436 (if you reside in the UK or Europe) 9am - 5pm (GMT), weekdays.
> Upon receiving your completed online application, your new account will be
> opened within 48 hours and you will be sent your account number and BSB
> details by email. You will be able to deposit funds into your account from
> overseas, although you will not be able to withdraw or transfer funds until
> you have activated your account/s on arrival in Australia.
> Within six weeks of arriving in Australia you will need to present your
> passport to an ANZ branch for identification purposes. You will also need to
> bring proof that you arrived less than six weeks ago. This can be the stamp
> in your passport or the boarding pass from the flight you arrived on.
> Documents in addition to your passport will be required if you wish to
> activate your bank account after this time.
> If you are not currently living in Australia, not an existing ANZ Australia
> customer and you are unable to come to Australia to be identified, then
> regretfully we are unable to open an account on your behalf.
> Alternatively, you can approach an ANZ branch upon your arrival to open an
> ANZ Account; once again you will only be required to present your Passport,
> with the entry date stamp, as identification providing this is completed
> within six weeks of your arrival.
> To view information on ANZ products and services, please visit our web site
> at
> Listed below is information relating to fees regarding Inward International
> deposits.
> International Deposits To ANZ:
> To transfer funds from overseas you can send a Telegraphic Transfer or Bank
> Draft (in foreign currency or AUD), or a personal cheque. Your local bank
> overseas will advise of their International Transfer fees.
> Inward Telegraphic Transfer Deposits $13.00 AUD
> Information on the fees incurred for inward international transfers is
> available on our website by selecting the Rates/Fees link under
> the Tools heading. Alternatively, you may access the following direct web
> address below and click on:
> Underneath "Personal Banking Fees and Charges you will need to select: "ANZ
> Personal Banking General Fees and Charges (PDF 120kb)" and scroll down to
> International payments and travel money on pages 12-13 and 14-15.
> Please allow 2-3 business days to receive a Telegraphic Transfer (TT) into
> your ANZ account. TT funds do not require any clearance. International
> cheques and Drafts may take up to 6 weeks to become available.
> This advice does not take into account your personal needs and objectives.
> You should consider if this is an appropriate service for you.
> If you have any further enquiries please contact the Customer Service Team
> at ANZ. They can be contacted on 13 13 14, or from overseas on +61 3 9683
> 9999. The Customer Service Team at ANZ provides support 24 hours a day, 7
> days a week.
> Regards,

> ANZ Online Enquiries
> Australian Contact Centre
> Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
> Website:

But here is another email from a reader dealing with the same ANZ Bank in New Zealand with an opposite experience, proving my point about it may just have been a bad day or a wrong person to deal with the problem described above.

Thanks John.

By the way, I saw your latest post about ANZ bank. I just opened an account with ANZ in New Zealand. But since I was not sure when I would be visiting New Zealand, I was only able to open an account for investment purposes, which has no ATM access and requires a minimum of $25,000 deposit. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it works till I am able to visit in person, to convert to a regular account.

Thanks for sharing the referral to Christine Bakewell there. She is very nice and helpful.

I appreciate informed, well-thought-out constructive criticism and suggestions.

John T. Reed