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What Are the Biggest Banks in Australia

Australia’s banking sector is valued at almost $5.3 trillion. Assets include things like savings, loans, and more held by locals. 

According to APRA’s Monthly Report on Australian Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs), i.e. banks, this is the case.

The four largest banks in Australia and New Zealand account for most of this total:  National Australia Bank, Westpac, Australian & New Zealand and Commonwealth Bank, and Banking Group.

The top four financial institutions, sometimes called “the big four,” control almost 70% of the market with their aggregate $3.81 trillion in assets. Who, therefore, is left demanding the remaining thirty percent?

Who Are the Big Four Banks?


You may have heard references to “the big four” or “the big four banks.” Australian & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), and National Australia Bank (NAB).

The ‘four pillars policy’ mandates certain practices for these financial institutions. The policy effectively forbids the consolidation of these four financial institutions. They are also preeminent financial institutions.

According to the (APRA), as of the end of March 2023, the main four were ranked as follows based on the total assets owned by residents:

  • $1.15 trillion CBA
  • $1.02 trillion in WBC
  • $943.73 billion NAB
  • $724.75 billion ANZ

With a history of being entirely owned by the Federal Government and serving as a central bank until the RBA was created in 1960, CBA has been firmly established as Australia’s biggest bank – by pretty much any metric – for decades.

As can be seen in the table below, Westpac consistently ranks second in terms of market valuation yet ranks third in terms of assets. NAB and ANZ have always competed for third place, although NAB has solidly grabbed bronze as of late. Although it is the smallest among the majors, ANZ is nonetheless rather sizable.

The big banks have substantial holdings in the mortgage finance industry. According to recent numbers, the four largest Australian banks account for 75.2%, or almost $1.6 trillion, of the country’s residential house loan value. They’ve also had a significant impact on Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Top 10 Australian Banks – Market Capitalisation

RankBankASX SignMarket Cap (billion)
1Commonwealth Bank – CBACBA16,845
2National Australia Bank – NABNAB9,093
3Westpac – WBCWBC7,902
4Australia & New Zealand Banking Corp – ANZANZ7,319
5Macquarie Bank – MQGMQG7,128
6Bendigo & Adelaide Bank – BENBEN493
7Virgin Money – VUKVUK398
8Bank of Queensland – BOQBOQ380
9BSP Financial Group – BFLBFL227  
10Judo Bank – JDOJDO138

The size of a publicly traded corporation is often quantified by its market capitalization (or “market cap” for short). Multiplying the stock price by the number of shares in circulation yields the market capitalization. The four largest banks in Australia account for the vast majority of market capitalization on the ASX.

However, market capitalization is a notoriously unreliable metric since share values fluctuate often. A bank’s share price may change for various reasons, including scandals, regulatory penalties, mergers, appointing a new CEO, etc.

When the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raises interest rates, investors may flee the stock market in search of safer returns in bonds and savings. Furthermore, many multinational names with a significant foothold in the Australian banking scene are not necessarily listed in Australia, such as HSBC (UK) and ING (Netherlands).

With a market worth of $1.55 billion in January 2023, Judo Bank displaced Liberty Financial Group ($1.17 billion) as the 10th largest bank in the world.

Macquarie — bringing the ‘big four’ to a ‘big five’?

Macquarie Bank Limited (MQG) is now one of Australia’s top banks, and its market valuation is comparable to that of the industry’s giants.

According to Bloomberg, at the end of 2021, Macquarie Group Limited (MQG) had a market worth of $77.5 billion, making it larger than ANZ and Westpac.

Since then, it has battled with ANZ for the title of Australia’s fourth-largest bank by market capitalization.

As a result, ‘the big five’ may soon dominate Australia’s financial scene, although Macquarie is exempt from the four pillars policy. As we’ll see below, Macquarie has a smaller retail banking footprint compared to the other big banks. 

Instead of relying on traditional banking products, including savings accounts, term deposits, house loans, credit cards, and other loans, Macquarie generates most of its income from its investment banking division, overseas initiatives and asset management.

Top 10 – Total Assets

Here’s a table showing the top 10 banks based on total assets, along with their respective asset values:

RankBankValue (billion)
1Commonwealth Bank1,151,387
5Macquarie Bank257,550
6Bank of Queensland121,008
7Bendigo and Adelaide Bank109,129

Please note that the asset values are given in billions.

Top 10 – Owner-Occupier Home Loans

Here’s the updated table showing the rank, bank, and value in billions for each bank based on the provided data:

RankBankValue (billion)
1Commonwealth Bank362,432
5Macquarie Bank60,076
7Bank of Queensland41,364
8Bendigo and Adelaide Bank41,087  
9Suncorp Bank35,480

In March 2023, the Bank of Queensland overtook Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to become the seventh-largest bank in owner-occupied home loans.

Top 10 – Investor Home Loans

Here are the updated tables based on the provided information:

RankBankValue (billion)
1Commonwealth Bank177,617
6Bank of Queensland19,057
7Bendigo and Adelaide Bank16,252 

Top 10 – Household Deposits:

RankBankValue (billion)
1Commonwealth Bank368,789
5Macquarie Bank55,871
6ING Bank46,418  
7Bendigo and Adelaide Bank4,220
8Bank of Queensland33,329

The phrase “household deposits” describes several sorts of bank accounts held by individuals and families.

After starting the year in seventh position, Macquarie surged to fifth place by the end of 2022, leapfrogging Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and ING along the way.

Australian consumers deposited an additional $13.8 billion into savings accounts and term deposits with Macquarie between July and December.

BOQ also rose in the rankings, replacing Suncorp as the eighth-best bank in Queensland.

Top 10 – Customer-Owned Banks

Here’s the table showing the top 10 customer-owned banks based on assets:

RankInstitutionAssets (billion)
1Heritage & People’s Choice2,6561
2Newcastle Greater Mutual24,221
3Great Southern Bank21,941
4Bank Australia11,919
5Teachers Mutual10,769
6Beyond Bank1,746
7P&N Bank9,315  
10Qudos Bank5,994  

Heritage merged with People’s Choice in March 2023, while Newcastle Permanent merged with Greater Bank.

This is borne up by the most recent numbers, which rank these two mutual banks first and second overall in total assets held by locals.

The former hasn’t settled on a new name, but for the time being, it’s going by “Heritage and People’s Choice,” which is rather original.

Before this, the order was Newcastle Permanent #2, Heritage #3, People’s Choice #4, and Greater Bank #7.

MyState, established in Tasmania, and Qudos Bank (founded as a bank for Qantas workers) now fill out the top 10 due to mergers.

In a client-owned bank, often known as a mutual bank, each customer owns an equal number of shares. This is because these banks do not have stockholders and treat all customers equally regardless of their loan or deposit amount. 

The origins of many credit unions and building societies may be traced back to the need to meet the financial needs of particular professions, such as science professors, law enforcement officers, etc.

Some mutuals have established a strong foothold in Australia’s financial sector due to mergers throughout the years. There are allegedly just half as many customer-owned banks as there were a little over a decade ago, according to the Customer-Owned Banking Association (COBA). 

The industry is sometimes called the “fifth pillar” of Australian banking since it competes with the big four. COBA estimates that the industry’s assets are $150 billion, which is a fraction of the size of Australia’s top banks.

However, KPMG determined it served as the central financial institution for more than 10% of the adult population and had five million customers.

They control around 20% of all bank branches in outlying areas of Australia and 18% nationally.

What About a Non-bank Lender?


There are plenty of alternative banks and lending organizations to choose from if you need a mortgage, car loan, or any other kind of loan. The emergence of non-bank lenders as a credible substitute for banks has increased consumer variety and sparked healthy competition.

Biggest Banks in Australia

Australia’s vast size is matched only by the country’s distinct personality and economic variety. Australia’s banks go above and beyond the norm by additionally providing services like stock brokering, insurance, and money management on top of the more standard fare of personal banking, corporate banking, and trading on the financial markets. 

There are 53 banks in Australia as of January 2023, with the government owning 14.

1. Commonwealth Bank


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The bank, headquartered in Darling Harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, is the biggest in market capitalization, assets, deposits, and the number of branches and automated teller machines (ATMs). 

More than 16 million individuals, businesses, and institutions benefit from the expertise of the bank’s 49,000 hardworking staff.

It has been reported that the bank’s total assets as of the end of 2019 were $980 billion, with deposits at about $642 billion and loans at around $773 billion. The bank’s market capitalization, represented by its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange, is US$107 billion.

2. ANZ Banking Group


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Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, headquartered in Melbourne, is Australia’s second-largest bank by assets, with 1,000 branches managed by 39,000 professionals.

More than 30 new foreign markets throughout Europe, Asia, and North America have been added to the bank’s global reach.

The bank’s total assets at the end of 2019 were around A$914.8 billion, deposits were over A$524 billion, and share equity was approximately A$53 billion. Mozo’s 2019 Experts’ Choice Awards named ANZ the best sizeable Australian bank.

3. Westpac


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With assets of A$907 billion, this business ranks third in Australia. This ranking results from the firm’s provision of a full spectrum of financial services to retail and institutional clients. Australia’s oldest bank was founded in 1817 and was headquartered in Sydney. Its five divisions provide a wide range of banking and financial services.

Westpac Institutional Bank, Westpac New Zealand, and BT Financial Group are some of the other branches. About 32,620 people work for the bank, which serves 13 million clients.

The headquarters of Westpac is located in Sydney. The Bank of New South Wales was the original name for this financial institution. After acquiring the Commercial Bank of Australia, Westpac changed its name to Westpac. 

Since then, it has consistently ranked as one of the country’s top 5 Banks. More than 10 million customers have used its services, and the company employs more than 35,000. Westpac operates in several additional Oceanic nations.

Westpac has had numerous issues despite all of its accomplishments. The Australian authorities discovered the bank after discovering it had manipulated interest rates. It has a checkered past as well.

4. National Australian Bank (NAB)


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NAB was founded in 1982 and, as of the end of 2019, has total assets of A$847.6 billion and deposits of A$466 billion, making it Australia’s fourth biggest bank.

The bank offers various services such as savings accounts, debit cards, credit cards with low-interest rates, loans for cars and homes, loans for businesses, insurance, private banking, investments, retirement planning, asset management, and wealth planning. 

They also provide banking services for frequent travellers, mobile and online banking, foreign exchange, and wire transfers. The bank’s main office is located in Melbourne, Victoria, and now employs 34,400 employees.

The National Australia Bank is similar to other banks in focusing on certain things. This bank is well-known for its extensive selection of banking services and products offered to large and small businesses.

5. Macquarie Group

Macquarie Capital was founded in 1969 and is a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank. Macquarie Bank provides asset management, commodities and global markets, banking and financial services, and Macquarie Capital. 

It also accepts deposits and provides a variety of loans, private banking services, consulting services, and an online banking platform.

With an AUM of $562 billion, it is Australia’s most significant asset manager. By the end of 2019, the bank’s assets were worth around A$220 billion.

Macquarie Group is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Over 15,000 people are employed by it. Furthermore, this financial institution is recognised as the premier infrastructure asset management firm globally. 

It is Australia’s go-to expert consultant for mergers and acquisitions. Macquarie Group offers services such as asset management, wealth management, asset finance, market access, leasing, renewables R&D & advising, and specialised consultancy to individual and corporate customers.

6. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank


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It is the sixth biggest bank in Australia and is based out of Bendigo in Victoria. Insurance, business banking, investments, and loans are just a few of the many services offered by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank provides.

As a result of its recent merger with Adelaide Bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank now has more than 400 locations. It reported a statutory net profit of A$524.0 million in June 2021 and A$78.0 billion in client deposits.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is the market leader in Australia’s home loans banking industry, with a market value of A$3.3 billion, over 7,000 staff, and over 1.9 million clients.

7. Suncorp Bank


Suncorp Bank is Australia’s seventh-largest financial institution, providing a variety of banking, insurance, and retirement services. It first served the agricultural community in 1902 before merging with Metway Bank.

One hundred fifty-seven of Suncorp Bank’s current 423 branches result from the company’s 2015 purchase of Promina. It has over 13,000 employees and 389 retail and commercial banking locations across Australia and New Zealand.

Suncorp Bank has A$72.77 billion in assets and a net tax profit of A$1,033 million as of the 30th of June, 2021. It has A$28.58 billion in deposits and A$12.06 billion in investor loans.

8. Bank of Queensland


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Established in 1863, the Bank of Queensland has grown to become Australia’s number-eight financial institution by assets. There are 3,055 ATMs and 252 physical locations. According to Roy Morgan Research, it achieved an 82.9% customer satisfaction rating in 2021.

The Bank of Queensland had total assets of A$57.637 billion in February 2021, a market valuation of A$5.7 billion, and client deposits of A$34.685 billion. After generating A$154 million in earnings in the first half of 2021, the company declared a dividend of 17c per share.

The five departments of the Bank of Queensland help the company’s roughly 2,098 employees provide its financial services to customers. Since July 2021, these sub-branches have been named: Retail Banking; BOQ Specialist; BOQ Finance; St. Andrew’s Insurance; Virgin Money Australia; and Me Bank.

9. ING Bank (Australia) Limited

ING Bank (Australia) is a branch of the Dutch banking conglomerate that provides traditional banking services, including checking and savings accounts, insurance, loans, and credit cards. It has been in business since 1999 as a wholly-owned subsidiary in another country.

It had more than A$46.575 billion in client deposits and more than A$73.045 billion in assets in 2020. The company employs more than 1,380 people throughout Australia. Despite not having its branches, it has become the biggest lender, surpassing even the Big Four.

ING Bank (Australia) works via a network of subsidiaries and divisions. Through these subsidiaries, it provides traditional banking services such as savings accounts, mortgages, insurance, wholesale banking, and loans. 

ING Bank (Australia) has grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the leading mortgage service providers in the nation. Its deposits are little about half as much as its lending portfolio, at $60 billion. In addition, with more than 30,000 in use, this bank’s retirement account portfolio is significant.

Most customers are satisfied with the service they receive, and they recommend this financial institution to others. Because of this, a sizable portion of the bank’s clientele feels comfortable recommending it to others. Customers of ING Bank (Australia) continue to increase as a consequence.

10. HSBC Bank Australia


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Regarding Australian banks, HSBC Bank Australia is the 10th biggest. It provides a spectrum of banking services, from retail to private, trade, finance, and treasury. Foreign ownership of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited dates back to its 2007 incorporation.

It also offers various ancillary financial services, including cash management, securities custody, and asset management. HSBC Bank provides these options both online and at its 45 physical locations. Over 1,945 people were employed in August 2021, and the company made A$925.07 million in sales.

Hongkong Finance was the original name for HSBC Bank Australia, which opened in 1964. The banking charter for this institution was issued in 1986. Its primary clients are institutions, corporations, and businesses, headquartered in Sydney. 

It provides online banking services and has thousands of ATMs available. In addition, wherever HSBC is present, its customers may effortlessly perform cross-border transactions.

11. ANZ


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About 400 ANZ Bank locations7 and 900 ANZ ATMs8 may be found throughout Australia. It has more than 8.5 million retail, wholesale, and consumer clients all around the globe.

The Access Advantage account10 from ANZ is the most popular banking option for visitors, students, and permanent residents in Australia. 

It includes a Visa debit card, online and mobile banking using the ANZ app, and internet banking with ANZ. A monthly account charge applies; however, this price is refunded to students11 and those who deposit a minimum amount each month.

Applying for an ANZ Access Advantage account online may be done up to 12 months before you arrive in Australia.

For commercial clients, ANZ offers a comprehensive suite of accounts and services.

12. NAB

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is a significant financial institution there. It serves around 9 million customers13 in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond. Across Australia, they have about 550 branches14 and over 900 automated teller machines15.

The NAB Classic Banking account16 is the primary option, and it has a contactless Visa debit card and no monthly maintenance costs. There is no minimum deposit required and no overdraft or ATM fees.

Students (NAB does not provide a separate account exclusively for students) and international students may open a Classic account. You may submit your application up to 12 months before arriving in Australia17 from abroad.

NAB offers two business bank accounts, one explicitly designed for small businesses.

13. Westpac

Westpac is one of Australia’s oldest banks, with over 3,000 ATMs22 and nearly 800 branches21.

Westpac Choice23 is the most popular daily account open to everyone, from students to newcomers. A Debit Mastercard and access to cardless ATM withdrawals and mobile/internet banking are included. 

There is a monthly cost; however, students, first-year Australian residents, and clients who deposit a particular amount each month are exempt.

Westpac also offers a variety of business transaction accounts to meet the varying requirements of different companies.

Safest Bank in Australia

Customers’ first concern when choosing a financial institution is the security of their funds. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the go-to institution for Australians who value security. This bank is well-known for its strength and stability as one of Australia’s major financial institutions. 

The organisations that evaluate financial institutions have repeatedly given them a strong credit rating. As a result of its meticulous risk management, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank is often regarded as the country’s most secure financial institution.

Most Popular Bank in Australia

Australia is home to several international banking giants. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is by far the most well-known financial institution there. Due to its extensive client base and overall satisfaction, this bank is dominant in the financial sector. 

In addition, this financial institution now serves more Australians than any other. This is made possible by continually developing and releasing cutting-edge offerings. In addition, this financial institution is at the forefront of offering its customers innovative digital banking options like online and mobile banking. 

Customers from throughout the nation may make purchases with a simple mouse click. The fact that this bank has won so many accolades speaks volumes about how much it values its customers.

Best Bank in Australia

While Australia is home to several reputable banks, only a select number can be called the greatest. One Australian financial institution, in particular, stands out from the others. Many economists and bankers consider Australia’s Commonwealth Bank the country’s top financial institution. 

This bank is often considered the most significant based on financial success, innovativeness, and customer satisfaction ratings. This financial institution provides its customers with a full range of retail and commercial banking services. 

The bank has similarly spent millions to provide cutting-edge digital tools to its clients to facilitate mobile and Internet banking.

Bank Ranking in Australia

Several elements go into determining how well-regarded certain Australian banks are. Market share, customer happiness, equity, and credit facility capacity are among the factors organisations consider when evaluating financial companies. Four financial institutions have predominated during the last several years. These financial institutions are:

  • National Australia Bank;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation;
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group;
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

These four banks, known as the “big four,” consistently rank among Australia’s top five. Other banks that score well with reviewers include Bendigo Bank, ING, and Macquarie Bank.

Best Banks for Business Accounts in Australia

Personal banking services offered by Australian banks are generally of a high standard. However, a select number of financial institutions focus on serving commercial clients. 

The big four banks have earned a well-deserved reputation for providing exceptional financial services to corporations and other large entities. Overdrafts, loans, and credit cards with varying limits are only some of the services and products provided by these institutions. 

These banks have specialists who can advise their corporate customers on financial matters. Furthermore, businesses might use these banks’ influence to get capital for their initiatives.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may also get support from banking institutions outside the big four. Suncorp Bank, Beyond Bank, and Bank of Queensland are just a few examples of these banks. Most customers rely on them to manage transaction account management, merchant services, and asset financing.

Are Australian Banks Safe?

There were a few significant developments in international finance in early 2023. In the United States, two major financial institutions—Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank—have recently failed. 

More than US $300 billion was held in assets by these financial institutions. 

Deposits made by customers of SVB and Signature were insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation of the United States.

Subsequently, UBS, another Swiss financial institution, purchased the failing global investment bank Credit Suisse with assistance from the Swiss National Bank. UBS had approximately CHF 3.2 trillion in assets, whereas Credit Suisse has over CHF 500 billion. That’s the same as if three separate CommBanks merged to become ANZ.

However, experts and central bankers have been eager to point out that this is not a contagion; each of the collapses occurred for unique reasons and is fundamentally distinct from the events that precipitated the Global Financial Crisis.

Could anything like this occur in Australia?

At a banking meeting in late March of 2023, APRA chairman John Lonsdale provided reassurance about the health of Australia’s financial institutions.

This has allowed us to establish a banking regulatory framework with distinct and, in many cases, stricter regulations and standards than many of our peer nations. We may be linked, but it makes their troubles more remote.

The country’s prudential authority fully insures all deposits in Australian banks up to AU$250,000.

During the GFC in 2008, the Rudd Government implemented this guarantee, which initially covered up to $1 million but was reduced to $250,000 in 2012.

Before this, deposit insurance programs were typically implemented by individual states.

Having your money in a bank, building society, or credit union meant you were subject to somewhat different rules than those who kept their savings elsewhere. Now that APRA’s $250,000 guarantee applies nationwide, they are interchangeable.

This article provides further information on the Financial Claims Scheme, which includes APRA’s ADI (authorised deposit-taking institution) guarantee.

If you deposit $250,000 with CBA, and the bank goes bankrupt (a very remote possibility), you will receive your money back in full.

This assurance is granted per permitted use. Remember that certain financial institutions like UBank and NAB share licenses. If you and your spouse share an account, you get a $250,000 guarantee.

It’s not limited to Australian branches of foreign banks like ING (owned by the Dutch) and HSBC (owned by the British).

The bank also benefits from this since customers won’t panic and withdraw all their money in response to a bit of concern, as happened with the United States SVB in early 2023.

This alone strengthens the safety of Australia’s banking system. Still, the country’s financial institutions also tend to maintain full counter-cyclical capital buffers (CCYB) and usually are mandated to maintain higher liquidity ratios.

Given the present state of affairs, the importance of this step is difficult to exaggerate.

Bank Collapses in Australia

In Australia, bank failures are very unusual. 

American bank failures are expected to total 563 between 2001 and 2023, according to the country’s regulatory bodies.

However, what constitutes a banking crisis is up to interpretation; for this exercise, we will use the following working definition: the need for a central bank or government involvement to protect deposit-holders.

A few of the neobanks have been making news as of late. In 2021, Xinja declared bankruptcy, repaid all client money, and surrendered its banking license. 

Midway through 2022, Volt Bank followed suit. Since both restored all client money, neither triggered the $250,000 guarantee nor required central bank action, and they needed to meet the conditions for failure.

CommBank bought Bankwest during the GFC, while Westpac purchased RAMS and St. George. However, they didn’t occur only because of cash flow issues and shouldn’t be classified as collapses.

1. The 1990s

You have to go back to 1990 to find a time when a bank failure was plausible.

The Farrow Corporation, which owned the Pyramid Building Society, went bankrupt that year. It was sparked by a rush for bank deposits and was believed to have cost Victorians $900 million; the Victorian government instituted a fuel fee to compensate depositors.

2. The 1970s

A select number of financial institutions in the middle to late 1970s needed access to central bank lines of credit, which they eventually obtained.

Even if some financial institutions needed capital injections and lines of credit from state governments, they were not failures.

The Bank of Adelaide and St. George Permanent were two such establishments.

3. The Great Depression

Before it, a bank collapse that needed the Commonwealth Bank’s intervention—at the time, Australia’s central bank—happened in 1931.

State-owned banks from NSW and WA were bought by CBA in 1931.

The Federal Deposit Bank had help refused by CBA; the Primary Producers Bank had received a loan but declined more support and folded.

The Argument For Banking With Major Banks

Your position and values will ultimately determine which bank you choose to keep your money in savings or borrow from. A larger bank may be what you want if you want quick access to your cash via ATMs and appreciate the chance to stop by a nearby branch and speak with a staff person.

Access to your money – Although cash is now less often used than digital banking, banking with the big four will simplify using ATMs to withdraw and deposit cash.

Visit a nearby location – The larger banks have the busiest branches where you can obtain banking help. Many smaller banks only provide online services, so you can’t go to a local department or contact a staff person for assistance with your banking.

Customer service – With a big bank, you can access customer support in Australia or abroad. Many smaller banks must provide in-person services or a dedicated customer care phone line.

A holistic banking experience – A comprehensive banking experience is possible with many large banks, which may serve as your one-stop shop for banking, insurance, financial guidance, stock trading, asset management, and more. Small banks won’t be able to compete with this degree of thorough service.

The Argument for Banking With a Smaller Bank

Interest rates on savings accounts and term deposits tend to be higher at smaller banks since they have to compete for clients. Credit unions and customer-owned banks are other good local options while supporting charitable causes.

Better deals – Smaller banks, attempting to compete with the big four, may sometimes offer higher interest rates on savings accounts and mortgage lending products. It is possible to discover a better price from a smaller financial institution if you take the time to shop around.

Lower fees – Smaller financial institutions can provide more affordable rates because they digitise customer service and other processes. Customers typically feel the effects of these price reductions. Because the larger banks have branches across the nation and employ many people, they incur more operating expenses as a result.

Quicker processing times – Large financial institutions will likely be swamped with other customers’ mortgage loan applications and may take longer to complete yours. Some smaller financial institutions take great pleasure in their lightning-fast approval processes.

Apps –  Despite the big four banks’ slick offerings, neobanks and other upstart financial institutions provide superior user experiences. You may use these applications to manage your finances and get insights and features that other banking apps lack.

Opening a Bank Account in Australia

Setting up your account before you get to Australia is recommended since moving there might be a very hectic period. This way, you can access your money right away.

The procedure typically goes like this:

  • The majority of financial institutions now provide online account opening applications. When you apply, we’ll require your passport’s number and expiration date.
  • You can deposit funds into your new account once your application has been completed and accepted.
  • When you get to Australia, you’ll need to visit a bank and present your passport to access your funds. You may also apply for a debit card and enrol in telephone or online banking at this time.
  • If you’d rather wait until you’re in Australia to create a bank account, you have to do so until you’re there (plus six weeks). You must bring your passport to the bank to complete the paperwork and prove your identification. A card for your account will be sent to you shortly after.

Many financial institutions may waive their monthly maintenance costs on a specific student account if you are an overseas student. Many banks will try to find a banker who knows your language if you’re an international student, and they may even assign you a banker who can help you with any questions you have.

Types of Bank Accounts

A high-interest savings account is ideal for long-term savings, while a transaction account is helpful for day-to-day banking needs, including making purchases and deposits. To better manage your finances, you should create several accounts (one each for things like rent and a vacation fund). 

Checking accounts are a specific kind of transaction account that includes the ability to write checks and use other supplementary services.

Credit and debit credit accounts are two more kinds of accounts. Research electronic funds transfer (EFTPOS) and alternative payment options for details on how to make purchases with these accounts.

Australian Currency

The Australian dollar, abbreviated AUD, is the country’s official currency. There are gold-coloured coins for the dollar and the two-dollar bill, silver-coloured coins for the five, ten, twenty, and fifty cent pieces, and banknotes for the five, ten, twenty, fifty, and one hundred dollar amounts. 

When you pay for anything, the prices are rounded to the closest five cents (for instance, $2.93 becomes $2.95).

Bank Opening Hours in Australia

Banks are typically open during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Some financial institutions and their branches may be open for extended hours or even on weekends. 

In addition to providing other financial services, bank branches enable customers to exchange currencies, transfer money, create new accounts, cash traveller’s checks, and order bank cheques. Thanks to automated teller machines (ATMs), telephone banking, and online banking, you can do some financial activities outside of regular business hours.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

There are automated teller machines (ATMs) located throughout Australia, which let you withdraw cash, check your account’s balance, and make deposits in certain circumstances. It is essential to be aware that costs, often in the range of AUD 2, are assessed when using foreign cards and when withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM.

Telephone and Internet Banking in Australia

You can monitor your account, move cash between accounts, and make payments without physically entering the bank branch if you use telephone or online banking. You must open an account with your bank before utilising the banking services offered over the phone or online.

EFTPOS And Other Payment Methods

In Australia, there are a variety of payment options outside cash:

  • EFTPOS: EFTPOS enables you to make electronic payments using a PIN code to access funds from your transaction account and a bank debit card. The majority of shops and eateries carry it. You may also withdraw cash via EFTPOS in certain establishments (including supermarkets and gas stations).
  • Credit cards: A credit card lets you buy things now and pay for them later, generally with interest. In Australia, credit cards are accepted for most transactions in shops, dining establishments, online and over the phone. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are the most often accepted cards.
  • Credit debit cards: Visa or MasterCard debit cards let you pay for things using your funds using credit and EFTPOS systems. They function similarly to a credit card, enabling you to make purchases online, by phone, and in locations where EFTPOS is not allowed. However, they utilise your funds as opposed to credit.
  • Personal chequebooks: Some individuals ask for a personal chequebook in addition to a debit card, so they may use funds from their transaction account to make purchases. In certain instances, such as for significant payments like a rental bond for housing, checks are accepted as payment. You may still use funds from your transaction account to make a cheque if you still need to get a personal chequebook by visiting a bank location and asking for a check.

How to Open a Bank Account in Australia

You’ll likely have some anxiety and excitement if you move to Australia. It’s a great nation with a relaxed way of life, kind people, and stunning natural landscapes. But since it’s so far away, relocation is a challenging task.

Opening a bank account is one of the first things you must do before travelling to Australia. This will be necessary for several things, including being paid, paying rent, and collecting benefits.

This tutorial takes you through creating a bank account in Australia. This covers details about prices, banks, and the procedure for setting up your new account. We’ll also give you the skinny on the Wise multi-currency account, a practical substitute for a conventional bank.

What Documents Do I Need to Open a Bank Account?

Banks in Australia utilise a points system for paperwork. Each document on a predetermined list is granted a certain amount of points. You must provide many papers totalling 100 points1 to create a bank account. The government has established this method of personal identification to fight fraud.

Though it seems complicated, it’s relatively easy to do. You will likely need to provide one primary form of photographic identification. For instance, one of the next2:

  • Your passport, either Australian or foreign
  • Your international or Australian picture driver’s license
  • an identification card issued by your own country.

If you do not have this, you must provide one of the following alternatives:

  • Documentation of Birth from Any Country
  • Proof of citizenship from your country of origin
  • Additional, one of the following forms of identification

Can I Open an Australian Bank Account Online?

Opening a bank account in Australia can be done without your presence there. Just go with any online bank of your choosing. Whether you’re a new or old client, you should be able to choose an account, enter your information, and submit your identification papers online.

Depending on the financial institution, opening a new bank account online should be a breeze. It has been reported that opening a Classic Banking account at NAB takes around 5-10 minutes.

However, there is a critical point to keep in mind. You must visit your local office in person after you arrive in Australia with your identification and any other required paperwork for a new arrival application. Your new account won’t be fully functional until you do this.

Can I Open an Australian Bank Account From the UK?

If you haven’t made a move to Australia quite yet, you can establish your new bank account in the UK. Everything may be completed online except for a few last identification checks upon arrival.

In Australia, you may create a bank account online before you even land thanks to the ‘big four’ banks’ specialised migrant banking facilities. These are the ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac.

Commonwealth Bank, for instance, allows you to open a transactional account up to three months before your scheduled arrival in Australia4. NAB allows bookings up to a year in advance5.

Due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions6 at the time, you should double-check whether or not these ‘new to Australia’ accounts are still accepting new clients.

The Multi-Currency Wallet-Sized Account

Here’s some food for thought before we investigate banks in Australia. Consider the possibility that a conventional bank account is excessive.

The Wise multi-currency account is an excellent option for those who often switch between several currencies. Send and receive funds in any supported currencies using your Wise multi-currency account for low fees and the mid-market exchange rate.

Money may be transferred between accounts in 50+ currencies, spent with a debit card in 200+ countries, and received in 10 different currencies with no conversion fees.

There is never a membership or monthly charge!

Which Bank Is Best for My Needs?

It is difficult to recommend a particular financial institution since this is so subjective. All three consumer groups (students, professionals, and businesses) may choose from the same offerings at most banks. 

The account opening process for most current accounts is simple, but the accounts often provide modest interest rates and few advantages.

However, as a Brit living abroad or a new immigrant to Australia, you would be well-served to go with one of the country’s big banks since they have the country’s most comprehensive branch and ATM networks.

Major financial institutions, including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac, have special accounts for newcomers to get you up and running quickly. Next, we’ll look at the ‘big four’ financial institutions.


The Australian banking sector is characterised by a handful of major players that dominate the industry. The biggest banks in Australia, such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), and National Australia Bank (NAB), have a significant impact on the country’s financial landscape. 

These banks offer various services, including retail and business banking, wealth management, insurance, and institutional banking, catering to the diverse needs of individuals, businesses, and institutional clients. 

With their extensive branch networks, advanced digital platforms, and strong market presence, these banks play a crucial role in supporting economic growth and development in Australia. 

Additionally, they adhere to stringent regulatory standards and have robust risk management frameworks in place, ensuring the stability and integrity of the financial system. 

As key drivers of the Australian economy, these big banks continue to evolve and innovate to meet the changing demands of customers and navigate the challenges and opportunities of the ever-evolving financial landscape.