New Australian dollar bank account for expats

by Ray Clancy on June 23, 2011

New Bank Account for Australian Expats

Standard Bank Offshore has further improved its international banking services for expats with the introduction of an Australian Dollar denominated version of its Optimum Bank Account.

The account, which pays up to 2.95% Gross/AER credit interest and includes an Australian Dollar Visa Debit Card, follows the bank’s recent upgrade to its Internet banking service.

The minimum balance required to open the account is $5,000 Australian Dollars and, as long as the minimum balance is maintained, there are no account maintenance fees.

Furthermore, and unlike many international banks, there is no requirement to earn a minimum level of income to open the account.

The addition of the Australian Dollar variant means that the Optimum account is now available in four currencies including US Dollar, Euro and Sterling. It provides a comprehensive service including a range of international payment options and FX facilities.

Account holders can manage their finances via post, fax, telephone banking and 24/7 Internet banking via the banks secure online banking service, International Online.

‘Australian interest rates are currently very competitive and demand from expats for banking facilities in Australian dollars is increasing all the time. Our new Australian Dollar Optimum Bank Account offers both excellent interest rates and 24/7 access via secure internet banking,’ said John Coyle, chief executive officer, Standard Bank Isle of Man.

‘Coupled with our new Visa Debit card we expect this product to be very well received by our clients in Asia and South Africa, in addition to those individuals with family in Australia who visit the country regularly and want the convenience of banking facilities in the local currency,’ he explained.

‘This new account enhances our client offering within a marketplace where Australian dollar accounts are few and far between. By launching this we are ensuring that clients have the opportunity to bank in the currency of their choice, and specifically one that offers stability during the current economic climate,’ he added.

The change has been introduced after a search of international bank account providers in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey revealed a dearth of banks able to offer day to day banking in Australian Dollars.

‘Whilst much of the world has been engulfed in financial turmoil, Australia has been steadily going about its business and today occupies an enviable position amongst the world’s leading economies,’ said Coyle.

‘Prior to the financial crisis, Australia grew its economy for 17 consecutive years. During the crisis, the Government used a combination of fiscal stimulus and low interest rates which, when coupled with continued demand for commodities, especially from China, has helped the Australian economy rebound strongly, growing by 1.2% during 2009 and by 3.3% in 2010,’ he explained.

‘Low unemployment, which peaked at 5.7% in late 2009 and fell to 5.1% in 2010, has created an attractive destination for expats, particularly from other southern hemisphere nations such as South Africa, from where Standard Bank originates.

‘Indeed both South Africa and Australia hold an abundance of natural resources which attract high levels of foreign investment. It is these cross border flows which revealed Australia as a leading destination for expats and their currency,’ he added.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dora Miles July 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

What interests me most is the 24/7 access, and also how secure is the internet banking , so if anyone has some experience, please share!

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