Australia corporate bank accounts in 2021
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC helps multi-national Clients open multi-currency corporate bank accounts in Australia for local companies. In our experience, Australian banks do not board companies that are not incorporated in Australia.
Without bank signatory travel, our team will project manage the multi-currency corporate bank account opening process, including preparing a quality business plan for our Client’s business.
We recommend our multi-national Clients read this web page to avoid bank surprises later!
Table of Australia banking problems and solutions
No. Australia banking problem Solution 1.
Australian banks are choosy about the customers they onboard. Top tier banks increasingly focus on large, profitable, low risk corporate Clients. Generally, Australian banks are neither interested in small companies, nor companies incorporated outside Australia.
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has built quality banking relationships with Australian banks. Local banks trust and welcome our multi-national Clients. A quality business plan is a big help.
Healy Consultants Group PLC has a guaranteed corporate bank account approval policy.
Global banks continue to tighten corporate bank account opening procedures, their internal compliance departments completing more thorough due diligence of Clients. Consequently, our Clients should expect Australia bank account approval to take up to three months.
If our Client requires a bank account at short notice, we recommend an immediate Australia solution (Australian company plus already-approved Australian corporate bank account).
Before, during and after bank meetings, the bank’s In-house Legal and Compliance Department reverts multiple times for additional documentation and information from each i) bank signatory / director / UBOs of the companies as well as ii) our Client’s business and transactions.
If some banks decline to board our Client’s business, Healy Consultants Group PLC will immediately inform our Client and action backup banking solutions
Bank requests foreign directors and bank signatories to travel for a one-hour interview before account numbers are issued.
Healy Consultants Group PLC will relentlessly negotiate with the bank to secure a travel waiver.
The Australia banking sector
Healy Consultants Group PLC’s summary view
- Australia is business-friendly, reputable and stable, portraying an excellent image to our multinational Clients’ international customers and suppliers. The country has a secure banking and finance system, and Sydney is a top 20 global financial centre.
- The health of Australia’s economy depends heavily on Asian (particularly Chinese) demand for its minerals and natural resources. During economic downturns, such as in 2020, the country’s trade balance and capital account is negatively impacted. Political and trade tensions with China, the biggest importer of Australian natural resources, weighs on the Australian dollar and hampers economic recovery.
- Australia entered its first recession in three decades in 2020. Though the government is supporting businesses, more local entities are going bankrupt, and loan defaults will cause some local banks to seek government assistance. In September 2020, the government announced it would loosen bank lending regulations to boost credit flows and support the economy, although i) recession ii) high unemployment and iii) weak consumer and business sentiment impacts banks’ asset quality in Australia.
- Australia recorded a capital flow deficit of A$18.6 billion in the second quarter of 2020 (A$10.8 billion in the previous quarter). In September 2020, Australia’s foreign currency stockpile was AS$438 billion.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBI) is known for maintaining stability of the Australian dollar (one of the world’s most traded currencies), though it rarely intervenes in the currency market. RBI imposes some of the world’s highest interest rates to control inflation.
- In May 2020, Fitch downgraded Australia’s sovereign credit rating to AAA- with a stable outlook.
- Because banks are looking to cut costs, we expect many branches of traditional ‘high street’ banks to close across Australia, and for more services to be transferred online.
- Digital banks are licensed to operate in Australia since 2018. These ‘virtual banks’ are an excellent alternative to conventional banks, with a similar range of services accessed via an app and lower account service fees.
- There are no foreign exchange controls in Australia. There is a free flow of funds for remittances of profits, dividends, debt service, capital, capital gains, branch profits, royalties, and returns on intellectual property or imports.
- Overall, Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends Australian banks as a solution for local companies doing business globally.
Key information on the Australia banking sector
- The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) regulates and supervises i) 88 Australia-owned deposit-taking institutions ii) seven foreign subsidiary banks and iii) 48 branches of foreign banks.
- Branches of foreign banks in Australia include i) HSBC ii) Barclays Bank iii) Deutsche Bank iv) JP Morgan Chase and v) Standard Chartered. The four largest retail banks in Australia are i) Commonwealth Bank ii) Westpac Banking Corporation iii) National Australia Bank (NAB) and iv) Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), which offer good online banking and customer service. Our relationships with these banks simplifies the process of opening new accounts as your business grows in Australia and worldwide.
- Many Australian banks are reluctant to onboard small businesses. For example, one bank in Australia requests businesses to have a minimum annual turnover of A$50 million to be onboarded.
- Other reasons Australian banks give for rejecting new accounts include i) due to security and compliance reasons they are unable to verify new Clients based overseas ii) all new Clients must have an Australian ABN and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) listing and must attend the Australia bank branch for verification iii) only opening accounts for wholly-owned by Australian companies (i e they will not onboard a company which is beneficially owned by companies not registered in Australia).
- As well as Australian dollar accounts, local banks offer multi-currency corporate bank accounts in US$, euros, NZ$, sterling and Asian currencies. Banks offer corporate credit and debit cards, cheque books, loans and wealth management products. If you open a foreign currency account along with an Australian dollar account, transfers can easily be made between the two.
- Most Australian banks do not charge account opening, maintenance or closing fees.
- On average, Australian banks take three months to issue account numbers and e-banking access.
- Deposits in Australian-incorporated banks, building societies and credit unions are protected by law up to A$250,000 per account holder. Although Australian banks rarely fail, the Financial Claims Scheme provides comfort for multinational investors.
- In our experience, Australian banks do not board companies that are not incorporated in Australia.
- Australia is the world’s sixth most cashless country on earth. Even the smallest transactions can be completed by local and international debit and credit cards, as well as methods such as Apple Pay, Merchant Warrior, Bambora, SecurePay and Fat Zebra.
- All Australian bank branch staff speak English, and correspondence and online banking etc is in English.
- In 2020, Australian banks pay up to 0.9% interest on Australian dollar fixed term deposits.
- Australia is a signatory to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), a global initiative to clamp down on tax evasion. As a result, banks operating in Australia share information on accounts and account holders with tax authorities where the company/individual is tax-resident.
- Similarly, under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), since 2017 Australian banks report information on US account holders to the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS).
- It is important that our Clients are aware of their corporate and legal obligations in Australia and that they timely fulfil the same. Let us know if you require Healy Consultants Group PLC’s assistance to timely and efficiently complete your legal and corporate responsibilities.
Australia corporate bank account opening procedure for local companies
- For our Clients forming a new company in Australia, Healy Consultants Group PLC can assist in opening an international corporate bank account within three months of company formation.
- We recommend keeping the corporate structure simple at the time of company incorporation by appointing our Client’s preferred individual shareholder(s) and director(s) and bank signatories. We do not recommend a corporate entity, nominee, trust, or tax haven holding company.
- It is difficult to obtain Australia corporate bank account approval through newly-formed companies when shareholders, directors and bank signatories reside overseas. Depending on the nationality of the UBO, shareholders, bank signatories, and directors and the nature and value of the business assets and transactions, it is wise to expect that i) corporate bank account approvals will take an average of three months from the date of company registration and receipt of all KYC documentation and ii) multiple banks will request the directors AND bank signatories travel for a one hour interview with the bank officer, before bank account opening.
- Following review of the application and before approving the corporate bank account, the bank will request our Client to courier all original corporate and personal due diligence and other supporting documents directly to Australia. These include i) a notary-certified true copy of your Company Registration Certificate ii) Memorandum & Articles of Association/Charter disclosing the directors/shareholders iii) certified true copy of passport for all shareholders/directors and account signatories iv) certified passport size photographs v) original certified copy of proof of address vi) board resolution appointing the bank signatories vii) a letter requesting for opening of the corporate bank account and viii) completed, preapproved, and signed bank account opening forms.
- During the corporate bank account opening process, it is common for each bank’s in-house Legal and Compliance Department to request additional due diligence documents from potential customers including but not limited to i) regulatory licences ii) proof of business globally and in home country including evidence of contracts, invoices and agreements with local Clients and iii) additional KYC information on our Client’s business and place of residency, including nature and volume of transactions.
- If some banks decline to board our Client’s business, Healy Consultants Group PLC will immediately inform our Client and action backup banking solutions.
- Following bank account approval, the bank will email our Client the corporate bank account numbers directly. There is no need for our Client to travel to complete the process.
Healy Consultants Group PLC fees to help open a corporate bank account in Australia
Healy Consultants Group PLC guarantees Australia company bank account approval. Our fees for different banking services include:
Australia banking task Our Client travels A$ Australia bank account for an Australian company No 4,950 Australia personal bank account No 4,950
Our multi-currency corporate bank account opening fees cover the following support services:
- Preparing a quality business plan for our Client’s review then use the same to maximise the probability of successful multi-currency corporate bank account approval with our Client’s preferred bank.
- Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Banking Team completing, on our Client’s behalf, the multi-currency corporate bank account application forms and collating Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence documents.
- Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Banking Team visiting the Australian bank to submit i) required due diligence and ii) signing all required paperwork.
- Over the following weeks, the bank officer reverting to Healy Consultants Group PLC multiple times to prepare an accurate, complete multi-currency corporate bank account opening file. When the Australian bank officer is ready, our Client will convene a Skype video call with the bank.
- Following successful completion of the above, the bank officer submitting a complete potential customer file to the bank Legal and Compliance Department.
- After several weeks, e-mailing multi-currency corporate bank account numbers to our Client.
- Within three weeks, arranging our Client to receive e-banking log-in details including corporate Visa debit cards and cheque books.
If required, Healy Consultants Group PLC will assist our Clients with lending and trade finance applications by preparing a quality application consisting of i) a feasibility plan ii) project strength and weaknesses analysis (SWOT) and iii) audited financial statements.
Australia multi-currency corporate bank account opening is easy if you know how. Contact Healy Consultants Group PLC if your Firm needs assistance navigating through the different banking solutions.