Copyright 2013 John T. Reed
My Australian banker contact has changed. The new guy is Josh Rich Personal Banker telephone: (07) 4614-1088 email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The bank is the same: Westpac, but the branch and city are much different. Here is the branch address:
Shop GF088, Clifford Gardens Shopping Centre, Cnr Anzac Ave & James St
Toowoomba Queensland 4350 Australia
This change took effect on November 15, 2013.
Previously, the two contacts I gave readers were Helen Williams and Caden Blumenthal. Each got promoted out of the position. They were both at one of the main branches 60 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW, 2000 which was extremely convenient in the main business section of Sydney. My wife and I visited Caden twice when we were there in March.
Toowoomba is actually a town I wrote about at http://www.johntreed.com/Australia-New-Zealand-visit-Facebook-posts.html. But that was a discussion about where in Australia you might stay on a 90-day tourist visa if you need to take refuge outside of the U.S. during USD hyperinflation. The cost of living in Sydney and other major Australian cities is extremely high, among the highest in the world. But it is much lower in Toowoomba and Adelaide. (New Zealand and Canada are not so bad.)
Toowoomba is relatively hard to get to. You would fly to Brisbane—which you can do non-stop out of Los Angeles, then take a train which does not run every day, to Toowoomba. It is about 60 miles west of Brisbane.
Now I really do not know of any great reason why you would need to ever lay eyes on Mr. Rich. I never laid eyes on the woman who opened my Westpac Australia account, Helen Williams. Our meeting Caden was nice but not necessary. Unlike Canada, you do not have to go in person to Australia (or New Zealand) to open your first account. And if you actually did take refuge in Toowoomba you would already have a local banker.
I would have preferred another banker in Sydney for my readers. One of my readers asked Caden why Toowoomba. Caden said Rich is a friend of his and he wants to help him by having my readers go there. I surmise that attracting deposits is a feather in the cap of the banker in question and can help his career. So please let me know how you are treated by Josh Rich. I do not expect any problems.
The second edition of my book How to Protect Your Life Savings from Hyperinflation & Depression still lists Helen Williams as my contact there. The address and phone numbers were out of date because she got promoted and moved to headquarters, but her email is unchanged. A reader recently contacted her and she directed him to another banker at the 60 Martin Place branch of Westpac, who took care of opening his account.
I sent her an email directing her to this article and she wrote back with this:
I can recommend my colleague Jason Walter, Personal Banker, who is working in the city branch 60 Martin Place. I was working with him at the branch before I moved to other position within Westpac.
He would be great for all your readers who would like to set up accounts in Australia
He is fantastic and here are his details
60 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
His e-mail address is
His phone number is +61 2 8253 3171
So please don’t contact Helen anymore. She has other duties. But it would appear that either Josh Rich or Jason Walter can help you equally. If you plan to travel to Sydney and would like to meet your banker face-to-face—can’t hurt—use Jason unless you want to visit Toowoomba. If you do not plan to visit Australia but want bank accounts there, I know of no reason to prefer one or the other. Martin Place in Sydney is such a great pedestrian street you would probably end up there as a tourist regradless of whether you had a banker there. The Reserve Bank of Australi a(their equivalent to our Federal Reserve Bank) is across the street from 60 Martin Place. The discipline and character of the people who run the Reserve Bank of Australia are the main reasons I recommend you put money in that country and currency.
Speaking of that, I do not know that Helen Williams or Caden Blumenthal got promoted because of me and my readers, but I did joke to them about it. James Curran, however, my Bank of Montreal contact, did say he has gotten promoted in part because of all the business my readers and I gave him.
He is still our guy, but he has a different, higher title and a new branch location.
1206 56TH ST. - CSC
DELTA, BC V4L2A4
He starts there on November 25, 2013. I assume his email address is unchanged: James.Curran@bmo.com
Where is Delta? Just north of Point Roberts, WA. That is another place I wrote about previously this year at: http://www.johntreed.com/northwest-washington-state-towns-as-hyperinflation-refuges.html
Might you be taking refuge from U.S. hyperinflation in Point Roberts? I did not like it. I recommend nearby places that are not pain-in-the-ass exclaves. Blaine, Bellingham, and Lynden, WA are each part of the land mass of the Continental U.S. Point Roberts is a tiny peninsula sticking off the bottom of British Columbia into the Strait of Georgia. You can drive to Bellingham, et al. To drive to Point Roberts from the rest of Washington State, you have to drive through Canada.
I have seen James every time I went to Canada since I opened my account there. I may never lay eyes on him again. When I go, I fly into Vancouver airport (YVR) then take the Sky Train to downtown Vancouver. There is a stop right across the street from the main BMO branch at 595 Burrard Street. My safe deposit box full of CHF is there.
In contrast, there is no train or anything else to Delta. You would have to rent a car or drive your car into Canada. Google his new address to get a map showing the location of James’s new branch.
I recommend you continue to use James to open accounts and he can manage your account from Delta as well as from 595 Burrard Street. I’m sure if you are opening a first BMO account, he can tell you which BMO branch is most convenient for you and give you a contact person to see there for initial opening the account purposes. He can even help you do that at BMO branches in places like Toronto and Montreal.
I initially got James via a referral from a banker at the BMO Abbotsford branch. I asked her for a referral to the main Vancouver branch because Abbotsford, like Delta, has no convenient train from the airport.
Also, the number to call to pay US bills out of a USD checking account in Canada should be 800-363-9992, not the one I previously gave you. The one I previously gave you has a BMO banker listening as you input the password. I find that unacceptable securitywise. They can only hear beeps but one could learn to translate those into numbers or record them and figure out out. With the new nember, you give your debit card number and password to a computer with no human listening—I hope.
John T. Reed