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Where is the best place to look for financial advice for immigrants to OZ on the Internet? Agents' fees are too high for us... We need advice regarding equity and pension funds transfer, OZ bank accounts, is it better to rent or to buy right now etc. etc. Any help would be much appreciated.

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Dear Lara,

We would be happy to help you with preferential exchange rates for transferring funds from the UK to Australia. Please visit and contact us if we can be of assistance. You should be able to get a much better exchange rate through a currency broker than through your bank!
Is this a private or state pension? Private pensions have to go via a QROPS registered scheme member and for UK state pension I was advised to call the DWP and ask for a pension forecast; the number is 0845 3000168. I'd advise speaking to a financial adviser regarding the private pension arrangements if you're unsure. As for bank accounts, most of the big Aussie banks are geared up for migrants, if you look through the mag you'll find many different banks advertise. I went with Westpac, partly because my wife has been with them in the past and had good service. They can also verify your ID in the UK before you get to Oz so you can use the account straight away, rather than having to provide your ID there, though of course other banks may also do this. As for renting or buying, I'd say that was a personal choice, from what I can gather house prices have not been in as sharp decline as in the UK, so your chance of picking up a bargain is not as great as here. It also depends what part of Oz you're looking at. Hope this helps!
Hi Lara,
We went with Westpac as an initial migration bank account, just to get things sorted initially. They were really good & we were able to get things up & running just through the internet, longterm I'd probably move from them as they're getting a bit of a rough ride for interest rates etc. at the moment (worse than the UK game play!), but as an initial bank account, can't fault them.

I would say rent first to find out where you want to live, it takes a while to settle & explore areas, also house prices in some places, ie Sydney are through the roof, so I know alot of people who would have been home owners in the UK are just renting because of this.

Be careful if you do go with a financial advisor we went with one who's at the big expos giving talks & in the magazines, & they were a complete waste of money, waste of £1000 which would have come in much more useful over here!! Your best advice is to find some expats maybe go on the expat websites & ask what they have done, generally the simpler route with your finances the better rather than some bloke trying to convince you to spend your money on his service by scaring you into it!!

Good luck
Hi Lara

Just read your post and some of the responses so thought I should add to them to help you a little more - I hope :-)
I am from UK and have lived in Perth, WA for about 12 years now. I have a Real Estate company that sells Australian (all states) homes all over the globe so have a fair bit of experience that I think I can relate to your queries. Will be short and sweet:
If you are looking for finance for purchasing a property in Oz prior to moving here, then we work with most of the lending institutions here and can advise for free. Typically the best ones/more commonly used are Westpac, St George, ANZ, HSBC and Lloyds for UK buyers but that doesn't mean that this will be the case for your circumstances...........
Transferring equity can be done via FX exchange using Barclays so it is totally secure and gives great rates that beat the banks hands down - I can send you details if you require
With regard to moving your pensions, I would think seriously about it right now as they are not doing great and with the exchange rate combined with this, if you can afford to hang on for about ten years, I believe it will (fingers crossed as mine's still in UK too!) be far more lucrative to transfer over at a better time when UK has recovered etc.... however, we have wealth management services that I can recommend if you would like a quick chat with someone?
With regard to opening a bank account, I bank with Westpac and think they are great and I know for a fact that you can open an account either online or by phone from UK and get all the information by email etc....
Renting versus buying..............that's a hard one with many circumstances to consider such as jobs, suburbs, desires, schooling, country, city, beach.....................however, whichever state you are moving to, I would highly recommend that you buy some form of property sooner rather than later as an investment more than anything as prices are climbing, especially in WA (when we arrived here we only bought one property and in hind site we should have bought two or three!). If you want to take a look at our website (we are in the process of updating VIC and QLD properties and adding more to WA this week) you can perhaps see the variety and some form of pricing etc.... and if you want to chat further, feel free to email me
Check out for lots of useful tax and pension tips. This website was created by me. I am a Chartered Tax Adviser i.e. a qualified tax professional. I worked in the tax industry for 25 years before migrating to Australia to work in tax and pensions over here. I've worked with loads of people who have left the UK and arrived in Oz. Unfortunately a lot of people should have got financial advice before they left the UK as it's too late to alter some things once you get here, but as you say, financial advice is very expensive in the UK. Feel free to message me via my website with specific questions, or complete this fact find if you don't realy know where to start.
Hi There
I am Mary OBrien from Downunder Mortgages and have written in Australia NZ Mag in August edition on emmigrating to Australia and to get a preapproval before you leave the UK.

I am accredited with 35 Aust banks/lenders and help numerous emmigrants and ex pats obtain Aust finance for an Aust property before they move from UK. Pse email me your details so I can send you some info
See Aust NZ Mag Aug edition.

Mary O'Brien - Finance Specialist
\PO Box 998 Baulkham Hills NSW 1755 AUSTRALIA
T: 0061 2 96205559 I F: 00612 9838 7602 I M: 0061 404 234517
E: I W:

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