There are many different kinds of accounts available to you, from basic savings accounts that earn interest to transaction accounts with key cards for ATM access.
Many accounts incur fees, which are generally charged monthly. Since all banks and their accounts differ, it is a good idea to shop around for the most appropriate account type and ‘deal’ for you. You can contact a bank by phone or the Internet to find out about the accounts and fees they offer. Most banks cater for their younger customers with accounts suited to younger people’s needs.
To open any new account the bank will require several important details from you. Apart from details like your name, address and your occupation, you’ll need to supply the following information:
- The name you wish the account to be in
- Whether the account will be held in trust (if so, other details may be required)
- The name and residential address of all people who will operate the account (signatories)
- Any other name that you or the account’s other signatories may be known by (such as a stage name or maiden name).
If this is your first account with your chosen bank:
As part of the Financial Transaction Reports Act (FTRA), it’s required that everyone who opens an account, along with all signatories to the account, must be identified, so if you’re opening an account for the first time this applies to you. You can meet the
identification requirements by either:
a) providing certain identity documents — the 100 points identification system; or see the next section on proving your identity.
b) providing a reference from an acceptable referee. See next page for section on ‘Acceptable references’.
a) The 100 points identification system (FTRA).
The Commonwealth Government has allocated a ‘points value’ to each form of identification, ranging from 25 to 100 points. To open a bank account, you need to provide a total of at least 100 points of identification for you and any other signatories.
Acceptable forms of identification that you may possess include the following:
(Remember, you only need to bring documentation totalling 100 points or more.)
The 100 points identification system (FTRA).
100 pts Centrelink personalised letter
100 pts Acceptable reference
70 pts Passport, full birth certificate, citizenship certificate
PLUS any of the acceptable forms of identification listed below:
40 pts Driver’s Licence/Permit (Australian)
– must have your signature and/or photo
40 pts Identification card issued to a student at university or TAFE
40 pts Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card issued by Centrelink
25 pts Current credit card or ATM access card from any financial institution (more than one can be used if issued by different financial institutions)
25 pts Store card, Medicare Card, Keypass photo identification card, passbook from any financial institution containing a black light signature (more than one can be used if issued by different financial institutions).
b) Acceptable references
The Commonwealth Government has an approved list of acceptable referees who you can use to verify your identity when opening an account. Some examples are a medical doctor, Justice of the Peace, Member of Parliament, solicitor or bank manager.
Your referee must have known you for at least 12 months and have sighted your passport, birth certificate or citizenship certificate. Their reference must be in writing on the correct, specified form. (Your bank will provide you with this.)
IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 OR A SPECIAL CASE
|If you do not have enough identification to make 100 points your bank will usually have special identification provisions for:
People under the age of 18
People who have arrived in Australia within six weeks of their application
Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders in isolated areas
|A recognised community leader can verify a signatory (two verifications are required to make up 100 points).
Certain people who receive Centrelink benefits.
A letter on Centrelink letterhead and addressed to the Manager of the branch where you want to open your account should be provided to your bank.