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PeteHusky Apr 6th 2019 3:19 am

Banking in NZ - what I’ve learned
As a Brit coming to NZ

1. I’ve found BNZ to be really good. A named person who looks after your account, answers emails and phone calls promptly (even called back whenI didn’t leave a message after a few rings and hanging up)

2. Banking incurs annual charges. So as a result it’s best even if you use multiple different accounts for day to day spending / regular payments / saving for irregular expenses / credit card, multiple accounts at the same bank will usually be cheaper than having different accounts

3. Automatic payments - are really good. You can set them up easily from your banking app to make repeat payments. Over here direct debits incur a set up charge or an ammendment charge so AP are a better option for any regular fixed expenses like gym membership etc.

4. Beware credit card surcharges. The EU banned them in europe but they are still common over here.

5. Think carefully and in advance about transferring money to the UK. Banks can do it but the can be a fee and/or a lacklustre exchange rate. I’m using XE currency transfer, which seems fairly good and easy to do on an app. Others are available but check they are properly protected by the regulators.

6. Get used to weird payment cycles. In the UK many things work on a calendar month basis. Here it’s common for pay to be fortnightly and for regular payments to be a mix of 4 weekly and calendar month. So understanding your bank balance takes a bit more work than simply getting to the end of the month in the black.

5. There can be a LOT of early set up expenses. Import charges, buying replacement stuff for things you left behind, and starting up your TV, car and house insurance, rental deposit etc all at the same time of year. Food shopping and home internet are pricier here, and eating out is not cheap but a good treat. I volunteered for a debt help charity in the UK called Christians against poverty. They have a network in NZ too so don’t be aftraid to google them and get in touch if you bite off more than you can chew.

6. Expect to have to go to the branch a few times - getting a new bank card, setting up your account etc all seem to require a visit. Like the UK bank branch opening times are variable. But thankfully most of the time the app will do everything you need.

mikemike Apr 6th 2019 5:41 am

Re: Banking in NZ - what I’ve learned
In addition there is no deposit holders protection Act, all you funds are at risk in event of closure

Charismatic Apr 8th 2019 10:32 am

Re: Banking in NZ - what I’ve learned
Open Bank Resolution: Just like the ECB in Cyprus.

Incidentally I pay no charges or fees on my banking with Kiwibank so there may be an option for every wallet.

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