Opening bank accounts

This page describes the experience that some groups have had when setting up bank accounts. It is not intended to endorse or suggest any particular bank.


Following these steps got one group an account with Kiwibank that has:
* Online banking
* 2 people required to authorize any change to the account, including approving outgoing transactions
* fees of 35c per outgoing transaction

1) Decide who you want as signatories to the account (this will be up to your group)

2) Have a conscience meeting, and at the meeting, make a written record that the group elected to have these people be signatories. One way to record this is to download this form (click here) and fill it out at the meeting.

The important things are that it’s dated, that it’s recorded that the group supported the motion, and that the name of the meeting matches (or is very similar to) the name of the bank account.

3) Make an appointment with the bank to open an account for an unincorporated society. Expect the appointment to take about an hour.

4) At the appointment, each of the signatories will need to be signed up as a kiwibank member. If they’re already a kiwibank member, great. If not, they will need to take proof of address (a bill addressed to you, a payslip with your address on it, etc) and photo ID – passport is best, or a drivers licence will do in a pinch.

5) Now that everyone is a kiwibank member, you’ll need to fill in anything that they ask you to, to actually create the account. The two forms that they gave us were the ‘Society Officers Certificate’ and an ‘Account Operating Authority’ form. The ‘full name of society’ on the ‘Society Officers Certificate’ should match the group name that you recorded in the minutes.

6) They’ll give you internet banking access cards – log in with the password provided and set up your access. These passwords expire in 3 days so if you don’t do it quickly you’ll have to go in again to get a new one.

7) When you log in, you should see the account listed in your internet banking. All done!