Australians stash an extra $124 billion in the bank in the year since COVID

Australians stash an extra $124 billion in the bank in the year since COVID

New figures out today from APRA show Australians have deposited an extra $124.14 billion in the bank since COVID hit.

APRA’s monthly banking statistics for March show a 12.43 per cent increase year-on-year in the total amount households have in deposits, which includes savings, term deposits, transaction and offset accounts.

Total amount from households in authorised deposit-taking institutions

Total amount (March 2021) Month-on-month change

(Feb v Mar)

Year-on-year change

(Mar 2020 v Mar 2021)

$1.123 trillion

$8.58 billion

(0.77%)

$124.14 billion

(12.43%)

Source: Household deposit data from APRA’s March monthly banking statistics released April 30, 2021. Includes all authorised deposit-taking institutions

RateCity research director, Sally Tindall, said the sharp boost in cash over the last 12 months came as no surprise as families prioritised their personal finances in the wake of COVID.

“COVID has been a financial wake-up call for many Australians,” she said

“Since the pandemic hit, many families have put their personal finances first, getting themselves into a stronger position so they can tackle future challenges.

“Months of lockdown living combined with rate cuts, tax cuts and initiatives such as the early access to super scheme have helped many families build a buffer

“Ironically, at the same time people have been stashing their cash, the interest rates offered on savings have plummeted.

“Banks are full to the brim with cash from households. As a result, they simply aren’t willing to pay anything more than peanuts in return,” she said.

RateCity data shows the highest ongoing savings rate at the start of COVID in March last year was 2.25 per cent. Today it is just 1.35 per cent – a drop of 0.90 per cent in 14 months.

“Most banks haven’t exactly been campaigning for more savings customers. If anything, they’ve been discouraging deposits by slashing bonus rates and tightening rules around extra interest. A handful of banks have even terminated some of their bonus rates altogether,” she said.

APRA total household deposits: Top 10 ADI’s

Bank Market Share Total deposits from households Monthly change (%) Year-on-year change ($) Year-on-year change (%)
CBA

27.29%

$306.51 B

1.21%

$37.33 B

13.87%

Westpac Group

20.79%

$233.46 B

0.52%

$16.00 B

7.36%

NAB

13.33%

$149.66 B

0.39%

$14.96 B

11.10%

ANZ Group

12.55%

$140.93 B

0.23%

$15.25 B

12.13%

ING

3.55%

$39.90 B

0.35%

$3.53 B

9.71%

Bendigo and Adelaide

3.13%

$35.10 B

1.29%

$4.79 B

15.79%

Suncorp

2.55%

$28.59 B

1.27%

$4.16 B

17.02%

Macquarie Bank

2.09%

$23.50 B

2.22%

$10.14 B

75.87%

Bank of Queensland

1.53%

$17.13 B

1.67%

$2.37 B

16.02%

HSBC Bank Australia

1.16%

$12.98 B

-2.04%

-$21 million

-0.16%

Source: Household deposit data from APRA’s March monthly banking statistics released April 30, 2021. Includes all authorised deposit-taking institutions.

Highest ongoing savings accounts

Bank Account Max rate
ING Savings Maximiser

1.35%

AMP Saver Account

1.25%

Virgin Money Boost Saver

1.20%

86 400 Save Account

1.20%

Conditions apply for max interest rate

Highest standard savings rates

Bank Product Intro rate (4 mths) Ongoing rate
Rabobank Australia High Interest Savings Account

1.50%

0.25%

Macquarie Bank Macquarie Savings Account

1.10%

0.95%

Citi Online Saver

1.10%

0.35%

Big four banks conditional savings rates

Bank Account Max rate

(if conditions met)

CBA GoalSaver

0.35%

Westpac Life

0.40%

NAB Reward Saver

0.30%

ANZ Progress Saver

0.40%

Big four banks standard savings rates

Bank Account Max intro rate Ongoing rate
CBA NetBank Saver (5 mths)

0.40%

0.05%

Westpac eSaver (5 mths)

0.40%

0.05%

NAB iSaver (4 mths)

0.35%

0.05%

ANZ Online Saver (3 mths)

0.35%

0.05%

 

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this news?

Fact Checked -

This article was reviewed by Senior Finance Writer Liz Seatter before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

Advertisement

RateCity
ratecity-newsletter

Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By signing up, you agree to the RateCity Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Disclaimer.

Advertisement

Learn more about bank accounts

Can you find your bank account number online?

If your bank offers online services, you should be able to find your bank account number online by logging into your account on your bank’s website and checking your details there.

Keep in mind that each type of account you have with a bank comes with a unique account number. This means if you have a bank account as well as a savings account, for example, your bank account number and your savings account number will be different.

If you don’t have access to your bank account online or can’t login, you should be able to find your account number on a mailed bank statement, if you have one.

Alternatively, you can call your bank’s customer service number or visit a branch to retrieve your account number.

Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?

One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

  • Payee’s name
  • Bank, building society or credit union (though this isn’t necessary)
  • BSB (or bank code, which is the branch identifier)
  • Account number

Including the name of the financial institution isn’t necessary – particularly with online banking – because the BSB will identify this for you.

A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.

Can you open another account at the same bank?

Yes, you can open another account at the same bank if you already have an account there, but some banks place a limit on how many specific accounts you can open.

Generally, though, it is possible to have more than one everyday account, one personal account and one joint account, or have different types of accounts – such as a transaction account and a savings account.

Keep in mind that some bank accounts come with fees, so you could be charged twice for having two types of the same account at the same bank.

Also, if you have more than one high-interest transaction account at the same bank, only one account will be able to earn the highest rate of interest.

How do I close a bank account?

Closing a bank account is one of those tasks that’s easy to put in the too-hard basket. There are quite a few steps involved, some which may require you to hang on the phone for a while.  

Here’s a handy checklist of items to tick off, so the job gets done quicker. If you don’t do your banking online, the following steps can also be done at a branch.   

  • Cancel any scheduled or recurring payments
  • Update your direct debit details (such as loan repayments) with creditors
  • Export your payee address book (to keep a record of saved third-party bank account details)
  • Transfer the balance of your account (to the new bank account)
  • Close your account online, or by calling the bank or visiting a branch

How do I open a bank account for a baby?

If you’ve just welcome a new baby into the world, congratulations. Opening a bank account for your child can be a wonderful first gift.

Before you can open your child an account, you’ll need to have a birth certificate or passport for your baby.

As the parent or guardian, you’ll also be listed as a joint holder on the account. This means you’ll need to have proof of your identification and address (a driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate or Medicare Card).

Many banks and credit unions offer baby banks accounts. Usually, you can apply online; otherwise you can head into a local branch or office with your documents.

Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?

Yes, Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. If you want to close the account of somebody who has died, you might have to provide proof of death and a copy of the will. You might also have to prove your relationship to the deceased person.

If you have a joint bank account with somebody who has died, you will generally be entitled to all the money in the account. Again, you might have to provide proof of death if you want to change the bank account from a joint account to a one-person account.

How can I find bank accounts in my name?

To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

Can I link a bank account to Paypal?

Paypal is a safe and convenient way to pay online without the need to share your financial details. You can send and receive money or accept credit and debit cards as a seller using Paypal.

It’s easy to link your bank account to a Paypal account and start making transactions within minutes.

To start, you first need a Paypal account (it’s free to join). When setting up your Paypal account, you will be prompted to link a credit card or bank account (or both if you wish).

PayPal works without a balance; you can use Paypal to shop or send money when your balance is zero.

When your Paypal balance is zero, Paypal will ask you to choose your preferred payment method at the checkout.

This could be either your linked bank account or credit card. Your bank details can be updated if you change banks or credit cards.

Can debt collectors take money out of your bank account?

Many people find themselves struggling to cope with debt at one time or another. In these cases, a debt collector could contact you to demand payment for a debt, to explain the consequences of you failing to pay a debt, or to organise alternative payment arrangements.

If you’re contacted by a debt collector, you may be wondering what their rights are and whether they can take money out of your bank account.

Creditors cannot access money in your bank account unless a court order (also known as a ‘garnishee order’) is made to allow creditors to recover debt by taking money from your bank account or salary.

If this happens, the creditor can take money out of your bank account unless you pay the debt in full or make an alternative payment arrangement such as paying in instalments through the court.

How do I open a new bank account?

There are a number of ways to open a new bank account – online, over the phone or in the branch. The trick is to decide what type of bank account you want beforehand.

It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.

A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.

Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.

  • A couple of forms of identification (such as driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, contact phone number and email (though email is not essential)

Do you need a bank account to get a credit card?

To get a credit card, you need to show proof of income, which will almost certainly require you to have a bank account.

How to transfer money to another bank account

Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

Can I open bank accounts for my children?

A common question for new parents is, ‘Can I open a bank account for my child?’

The short answer is yes – as a parent you can open a bank account for your child.

Once you’ve compared your options and found a bank account that suits your needs, the process is relatively simple.

As the bank account is for your child, you’ll need to provide some documentation such as proof of ID, including your tax file number.

You will also need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and in some cases you may also need to sign a guarantee of indemnity.

Depending on the bank and whether you’re an existing customer, you may be able to open a bank account for your child online. However, you may still need to go into a branch to prove your identity.

How do you set up a bank account online?

Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.