June 2018

Things You Should Know When Living in Australia

Moving to Australia comes with many advantages, but for today’s global citizens it also comes with complications. Most new arrivals will find themselves juggling assets across multiple jurisdictions with all the currency headaches that come with it.

Living in Australia while, for example, simultaneously collecting rent from an apartment in Hong Kong, paying for a child to study in Canada, and managing income derived from a London-based hedge fund presents challenges that can daunt even the most cosmopolitan expat.

A key to successfully managing a global portfolio is budgeting, and a key to successful budgeting is transparency. Nothing clouds the picture more than the uncertainty of currency fluctuations.

The interconnectedness of the global banking system has made managing exposure to multiple currencies much easier than it once was, but it is still deeply opaque. Even without the complications of opening accounts in multiple jurisdictions, transferring money between countries is still slow, clumsy, and a minefield of hidden costs.

Banks can take 24 hours or more to make a transfer, which has always been a liability, but is particularly so now when exchange rates are becoming more volatile as the different parts of the world move away from ultra-low interest rates. Switching money between different banks, or even between the same bank globally, is time consuming, complicated and expensive: even banks that don’t offer an exorbitant foreign exchange spread often ask customers to green-light transfer fees without giving a clear idea as to how much they are likely to be.

With the Citi Global Currency Account is a new breed of hybrid multi-currency accounts that is taking some of the uncertainty out of the financial life of the global citizen. You might be thinking of liquidating some of that London-based portfolio to buy a house in Australia but want to keep it in Sterling until the last moment to take advantage of an improving exchange rate, or lock in overseas tuition fees in case the currency moves against you: these accounts facilitate those transactions.

The Citi Global Currency Account gives you visibility across assets in multiple currencies – at best it can handle as many as 10 of the world’s major currencies -- friction-free transfers with transparent fee structures, and in some cases - instant transfers between Citi entities globally. The debit card can be easily switched between different currency accounts. And they allow all this to be done online.

Multi-currency accounts can also simplify the calculation of tax liability, the bane of every global citizen’s life, particularly in a country like Australia which taxes its residents on global income. Routing global income and payments through a single account structure and getting a single end-of-year bank statement from a reputable bank significantly both simplifies tax preparation and avoids the dangers of double taxation in different jurisdictions.

For expats living in Australia managing exposure across multiple currencies is at best a minefield and at worst a source of significant losses. The Citi Global Currency Account brings transparency to cash management, friction-free transfers, and greater clarity on costs.

Important Information:

This document is distributed in Australia by Citigroup Pty Limited ABN 88 004 325 080, AFSL No. 238098, Australian credit licence 238098. Any advice is general advice only. It was prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider if it's appropriate for your particular circumstances. You should also obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and terms and conditions before you make a decision about any financial product, and consider if it’s suitable for your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Investors are advised to obtain independent legal, financial, and taxation advice prior to investing. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Investment products are not available to US people and may not be available in all jurisdictions.