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Money and Banks and House Prices and Mortgages and Rents

A most important subject - it's what makes the World go round! The exchange rate coming to NZ is poor at the moment, look at XE below

Oct. 2017: Auckland average house price around $1,044,000 $845,000 average for NZ. April 2018, prices have not changed much


Some of this is obvious!

New Zealand uses the New Zealand Dollar - currency symbol NZD. Looking at today's exchange rates you will get the following NZD for your hard earned cash! www.

After spending hours watching exchange rate websites, there appears to be no logic to the way the NZ dollar moves up and down. The only sensible advice I have come across, is that, because NZ is a commodity based economy the NZ dollar tends to follow the price of oil.

For money transfers we initially used the bank to bring over money, but we were recommended by friends to use Currency Online, based in Christchurch. Excellent service and they take a very small cut of your cash.

House Prices

Mortgage Interest Rates

We seem to be the only OECD country raising interest rates. April 2014: 3%

Please note, The Cooperative bank is nothing to do with the UK one

Bank Account Numbers

New Zealand bank account numbers have a different format to the UK.

The format is: XX-XXXX-XXXXXXX-XX

Reading across:

  • XX - Bank
  • XXXX - Branch
  • XXXXXXX - Account Number
  • XX - Account Sub-number

Then you also have a 6-digit customer number which is unique to an individual.

So I have an individual account, a joint account with my husband, and a joint account with my son. I use the one customer number, and with that I can see all the accounts that I am named on.


New Zealand has had EFTPOS for years - much longer than most of the rest of the world, including the UK.

However, this does have a disadvantage. Unfortunately New Zealand has hit the VHS vs Betamax problem - even though they were first, and their system is far superior to others that are out there, they are now not in the majority.

This means that most New Zealanders use their EFTPOS card to buy almost everything - even $4.30 for a cup of coffee! But they can't use it on-line (it isn't a Switch/Maestro card) and they can't use it abroad (there are some countries where it is accepted in the ATM/hole in the wall - but you can't guarantee it).

Credit cards

Yip! There's the standard ones! Visa, Mastercard, American Express….

On-line Banking

Like EFTPOS, New Zealand was ahead of the game. On-line banking is sophisticated, and many New Zealanders use it freely to pay their bills and control their money.


And this is where I give Payback to HSBC!

As an immigrant to New Zealand you will need to set up a bank account.


In the UK we were loyal customers of First Direct, a subsidiary of HSBC. We were very happy with them and so set up an account with HSBC in New Zealand in advance of our arrival.

The advantage of this is it makes it really easy to transfer money from the UK to NZ (if you're not with HSBC, then check if your bank has a reciprocal agreement with any bank in NZ).

So why the payback? Well, we are no longer with HSBC for one very good reason. They told us AFTER THE EVENT that they would be charging us $15 NZD per month PER ACCOUNT for the privilege of us having an account with them. As we had five accounts with them (current, savings, trust funds etc) we would have been paying $75 NZD per month!

So sorry HSBC - you've lost our custom (which is not insubstantial) in the UK AND New Zealand. You just can't treat customers that way and expect them not to be unhappy!

So on that whinge - let's move on to the other banks out here.

Bank Addresses

  • Kiwibank - - NZ owned (one of the few) and runs out of the post office. We're with Kiwibank now and have found them to be very good.
  • TSB - - Taranaki Savings Bank - but in fact looks very similar to TSB in the UK. Another Kiwi bank, which has very loyal customers
  • ASB- - Australia Savings Bank (but very popular over here. It's also by far the best website for on-line trading of shares. See
  • BNZ - - Bank of New Zealand. Aussie Owned:-)
  • Westpac - Aussie Bank
  • ANZ - (ditto) ANZ and National are merging, all banks will be ANZ: Aussie owned

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living_in_new_zealand/money_and_banks.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/14 13:53 by art
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