Opening accounts and applying for credit

Opening an account

Before, or at the time you open an account, the bank will advise you of the rights and obligations relating to that account. This information will include:

  • the type of account
  • how and by whom the account is to be operated (i.e. individually or jointly)
  • how funds may be put into or withdrawn from the account
  • who will be liable for repaying any existing and future debts on the account (e.g. if the account is a joint account)

What you need to bring

Banks are required to see proof of identity for a new account – to protect you and prevent potential fraud and money laundering. You will need to bring a photo ID such as passport / driver licence, another form of ID and proof of address, such as a bill.

If you don’t have those let your bank know as an alternative means of identification may be acceptable.

Tip: If you are a recent migrant to New Zealand some banks offer tailored packages. Talk to your bank about that.

Getting a loan or overdraft

Banks offer a wide of range of different loans, depending on the situation and what you want the loan for. Banks can help provide the right form and amount of credit that works for you and your financial situation.

When considering your application banks may take into account your financial history but will ask you before accessing information about you from third parties.

If you are struggling to meet repayments or are in financial difficulty contact your bank immediately as they may be able to help you. It is better to do this before defaulting on a loan.

Tip: Banks want to compete for your business. Before taking out a loan, shop around to see who is offering the best deal.


If you have someone willing to provide a guarantee to cover your loan that may work for you. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay your loan if you default.

However, there are significant responsibilities for a guarantor. We are required to make them aware of their responsibilities.

Guarantors may use the complaints process available to bank customers.