Jul 23, 2008

My own opinions on my banks

J thinks it's nuts that we have accounts (savings and checking/current accounts) in almost all banks in NZ. Not all, excuse me! My original reason for opening multiple accounts of the same types is to put our eggs in different baskets. I must admit that it does make a difference in seeing that we don't have much in one account because it prevents us from spending the money. Later on, I found the want to experience banking with my banks. It's not the same just reading information on their websites or asking people around. Opinions help but they are not mine, so there.

When I first moved to NZ, I opened a current account with them in addition to the joint savings account with J. I still don't use them as my primary bank but our car loan is with them and we religiously save a fixed amount in our Online Account with them, which happens to be the highest at the moment! We want to keep them because it is NZ-owned bank. J's salary goes to this bank but I transfer the remaining pay (insurance and car loan payments already deducted) to my Electronic because they have transaction fees and I don't want that.

A few months later, Westpac introduced their Elect (now Electronic) Account that has zero transaction fees. I immediately opened one and decided to use them as my primary bank. So my salary goes into my Electronic account and all bills are paid through them.

It's just not funny not to have an account with them. We only have savings and managed funds with them because they don't have current accounts and can't really offer that type. I like them because we can't easily take our money out because they don't have any branch and don't issue cards (EFTPOS or credit cards) at all, hence no current accounts. They are just a simple online bank. When I first got interested in diversifying, I used this bank for my training arena because I can sell and purchase managed funds online.

I opened a savings account with them to serve as our Emergency Fund. Now that they have Free Up, I'm seriously considering transferring from Westpac to them. Gotta support local banks, you know! I had already moved our insurance direct debits to them and once we pay off our car loan, I will have J's salary credited to either this bank or to his Westpac Electronic.

I was curious about them due to the consistent TV adverts. For experience's sake, I opened current and savings accounts. I was not impressed from the first day. They couldn't open my account that time I walked in because they didn't have any staff available. I finally got my account created 2 days later! That's a long time! I was ready to pull out my application when they told me that they had already set them up and that I can walk into a branch to pick up my EFTPOS card. They do credit checks on you before they can approve your application, but still! To set up payees with them online, you will need to pay $2 for each payee! Not all that, in my opinion. So I tossed out the idea of making them my primary bank.

Disclaimer: This post is just my opinion based on my own experience. If you had better, good on you. If you had it worse then change banks.


  1. Anonymous23/7/08 19:35

    Surely it would be much easier to consolidate your accounts with one trading bank and then keep raboplus as a savings you can't see?
    It'd save a lot of time surely...

  2. my savior! seriously, tasha, this is very, very timely.

    i signed up for westpac 'cause of their agreement with Bank of America (i can take money from my US bank account out with no fees). however, they have no special considerations for BoA customers when setting up an account with them. plus, it costs money to set up auto bill pays and to make a deposit! what the H is that?

    I'm seriously considering switching to kiwibank. they're local and i like the free up account you referenced.

  3. It's also very convenient to have Kiwibank branches in EVERY post shop in NZ!

  4. I opened my first bank account with the ASB while in primay school but cancelled it, when at aged 16 they still wanted a note from my parents to say I could make a withdrawal.
    I used to have heaps of accounts with different banks - all you needed then was two proofs of address and $1.00 - how times have changed.
    Now I only have an account with ANZ, they let me post cheques made out for ££'s to my account and don't change me any fee. Yes, I probably get a lousy rate and the money isn't available for about 20 days but it is stress free!