Opening a NZ bank account when you live overseas

When it comes to applying for a mortgage in New Zealand while still residing abroad, you would think that setting up a bank account for the lending would be the easiest part? Unfortunately this has fast become a very challenging part of the process, even more so given recent events and the virtual impossibility of getting into New Zealand.

Whilst you are legally able to purchase property in NZ as an ex-pat, Australian, Singaporean, or as an overseas investor from anywhere in the world (once you have Overseas Investment Office consent), there is no obligation for a bank to open an account for you.

With the borders now being closed, this rules out lenders that insist due to their own anti-money laundering law requirements that you must present yourself at a local branch to set up a bank account. Some banks will enable you to present yourself at one of their branches in Australia, or in some circumstances, an affiliated bank in your relevant country. If you are unable to meet a particular bank’s anti-money laundering requirements when setting up a bank account, they will not proceed with the lending. 

Major banks insist when lending money that you have a bank account with them to make mortgage repayments from, along with receiving any rental income. The challenge here can be that if the right bank from a servicing, scaling of income, and policy perspective, might not be from an anti-money laundering policy perspective. That means we are unable to set up a bank account with the best lender for your position - so we would need to consider alternative options.

Loan Market also works with non-bank lenders who do not offer banking services, they enable you to take out a mortgage without direct banking services. This means as long as you can set up a bank account in NZ with someone, then they are happy to proceed with the funding.

It is a bit of a minefield, especially when we need to align banks policies and anti-money laundering, but there is certainly opportunity for the right outcome.

Make sure you register for our upcoming webinar on Friday, July 10th. Our expert panel will be covering everything from overseas investment rules relating to residential and commercial property, lending and legal as well accounting and taxation. Register for this webinar here

Be sure to reach out to Loan Market to discuss this further. Click here to contact us, or contact one of our advisors directly on their contact details below. 

Queenstown Area

Wanaka & Central Otago