2 August 2017
International students affected by bank changes
Providers, agents and international students need to be aware that all banks in New Zealand are now required to collect additional information from international students before they can open an account in New Zealand.
As a result of the Global Tax Information Reporting and Anti Money Laundering campaign, all banks in New Zealand, as well as other financial institutions, are required by law to collect additional information from a foreign tax resident before they can open an account in New Zealand. As part of these changes, banks also require a certified copy of (or, in some cases, the original) the student’s passport (bio-page) and proof of current residential address. Those who apply to open a bank account while outside New Zealand will be required to provide proof of their current overseas residential address, and to present themselves at the bank to activate the account when they arrive in New Zealand.
The same changes are being implemented in other countries that are part of this global initiative.
These changes also apply to international students who intend to use INZ’s Funds Transfer Scheme (FTS) to transfer their funds to New Zealand. Note the FTS is only available to international students from certain countries.
If applying for an account under the FTS in the near future, ANZ, the New Zealand bank that operates the FTS, may contact the student to complete additional forms to ensure they capture the additional information they require. These forms include questions around the student's tax information, and the student themselves will need to complete and sign these forms (not their agent).
For FTS accounts only, acceptable proof of residential address includes:
- utility bill (e.g. landline telephone and power only)
- rates bill (e.g. property tax document)
- tax certificate
- insurance policy document
The document(s) listed above must be less than three months old and must state the student's name and their residential address. Where the student is living with their parents and the document states their parents' name(s), a parent whose name appears on the document must provide a letter stating that the student lives with them.
Note there may be some delays visa application processing while Immigration New Zealand and ANZ work through these changes.