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Doesn't have to be via HSBC we have a Nationwide account here in UK and a Westpac one in Oz. Both managed on-line. I looked at HSBC but they seem to charge for everything and as said they have few branches in Oz. And in fact it is not one seamless organisation anyway, they have different banking codes, guarantees etc.
For example Bank of Cyprus UK is actually a different set up from Bank of Cyprus Greece. I have accounts with both and they are completely separate.
We always transfer money via a forex company (unless small amounts) as the rate is better with less charges.
You can open an Oz bank account from the UK and transfer money in, but it will not be activated until you have passed security checks with some banks this means you must go to Oz.
We've kept UK accounts open with two banks but that doesn't mean we have to use them over here in SA, so I wouldn't let that sway your choice. Also, if you're moving large sums over, you should do it through a currency exchange such as oz forex or HiFX or you'll get nothing like a decent rate (not that moving pounds into dollars attracts a decent rate anywhere these days!).
Personally I would want to have a bank account in Aus with an Aus bank, one that has many many many ATMs (and therefore do not charge me to take my money out) across the country and one that has many many many branches across the country so that I can go and see someone face to face about my account.
I certainly, under no circumstances, would PAY someone for letting me buy their product - would you pay Tesco £100 for letting you do your weekly shop and there spending £100 in there?
Any bank that charges you for setting up an account are complete scum imho - its not like they haven't got enough money anyway. There are many Aussie banks that have branches in the UK (admittedly in London, but hey! Make a weekend of it! And most of them you can do it online as well apparently) that do not charge you anything to set up an account with them.
We will keep our UK bank accounts open probably just in case, but as we don't have any other financial products its not like we will be moving credit cards or anything, and as we don't have overdraft facilities etc here, we will just leave a very small sum in the accounts here, and then if we need to do anything that requires a UK bank account we have one. But to be honest - I don't need an Aussie bank account whilst I live in the UK, so why would I need a UK one when I live in Australia?
Sorry to rant so much about this, but I really feel strongly against banks that charge you to use their products, and earn them money! Especially when they are dishonest about making out they are the same in Australia and here - they aren't they are very different companies in real life, as Rammygirl says - they have different banking codes etc so are NOT the same thing as here - I just cannot abide dishonesty and do not see why it should be rewarded with business. Grrrr.
OK rant over
Rant away :) it's good to hear different opinions :)
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk :)
I'm kind of with Adelaide_bound on this one. Open an Aussie account online and wait till you get there to activate it and start using it. You can do that the day you arrive so its not like you'd be stuck with no money and helpless.
I'd personally open a savings account with a decent interest rate in the UK and pay money into that till you up sticks to Aus. And then transfer it over using a decent exchange set up that won't stiff you on the rate.
I would keep a basic UK account open with a small amount in to cover any odds and sods that may crop up. And also that can have money transferred in to it from Aus should the need ever arise. No need to close an account. Helps if you want to order anything UK based with a debit card and so on. And for trips back.
With internet banking these days it really is so simple. I just feel you are making more work for very little reward or return. I don't see any real benefits to this international account. It could be good if you lived between both countries but if you are not its not really worth it.