Australian Government Bank Guarantee: Which banks are included?

Your deposit up $250,000 in a licensed Australian bank is protected by the Australian government. Here's how the bank deposit guarantee works, including when your money isn't covered under the scheme.

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The Australian Government guarantees deposits up to $250,000 in Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADIs) such as banks (including online and digital banks), building societies or credit unions. This means that if something happens to the bank or the bank goes bankrupt, this money is guaranteed by the government and financial regulator APRA to be paid back to you.

There are a few things you need to know about this scheme, which we'll go through in this guide.

Australian-owned banks included in the bank deposit scheme:

Foreign subsidiary banks included in the bank deposit scheme:

An exhaustive list of ADIs

How does the Australian Government Guarantee work?

The Australian bank Government Guarantee protects your deposit up to the value of $250,000. This cap applies per person and per Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI). If you have separate bank accounts with different banks with $250,000 or less in each of them, you will be covered for both accounts. If you have more than $250,000 in a single bank account (or term deposit, or savings account), you won't be covered for the amount over $250,000 (this doesn't mean you'll automatically lose your deposit over this amount, though).

What types of accounts does the guarantee cover?

The government guarantee covers most deposit accounts, including:

Bank accounts protected by the bank guarantee

$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Interest Earned
Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)
3%
0.2%
2.8%
$0
If you’re between 18-29, you can earn a 3% p.a. variable rate each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)
0.4%
0.2%
0.2%
$0
If you’re between 18-29, you can earn a 0.4% p.a. variable rate each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your linked Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
MyState Bank Bonus Saver Account
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Ongoing, variable 1.2% p.a. when you deposit at least $20 into the account each month and make 5 or more Visa Debit card transactions from a linked MyState transaction account. Bonus interest available on balances up to $250,000.
MyState Bank Bonus Saver Account
0.1%
0.1%
0%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.1% p.a. when you deposit at least $20 into the account each month and make 5 or more Visa Debit card transactions from a linked MyState transaction account. Bonus interest available on balances up to $25,000,000.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (25+ year olds)
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Customers aged 25+ can earn an ongoing variable 1.2% p.a. each month you deposit at least $2,000 into your linked Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (25+ year olds)
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Customers aged 25+ can earn an ongoing variable 1.2% p.a. each month you deposit at least $2,000 into your linked Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)
3%
0.05%
2.95%
$0
Only available to those aged 14-24. Ongoing, variable 3% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $200+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5 eligible transactions a month. Max bonus interest applies on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,001 and $250,000 will earn a lower bonus rate. Base rate applies on balances over $250,000.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)
1.05%
0.05%
1%
$0
Only available to those aged 14-24. Ongoing, variable 1.05% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $200+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5 eligible transactions a month. Max bonus interest applies on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,001 and $250,000 will earn a lower bonus rate. Base rate applies on balances over $250,000.
Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 year olds only)
0.05%
0.05%
0%
$0
Only available to those aged 14-24. Ongoing, variable 0.05% p.a. when you link to an BOQ Day2Day Plus Account, deposit $200+ into the Day2Day account each month from an external account and make 5 eligible transactions a month. Max bonus interest applies on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,001 and $250,000 will earn a lower bonus rate. Base rate applies on balances over $250,000.
Citibank Online Saver
0.35%
0.35%
0%
$0
Introductory rate of 0.35% p.a. for months, reverting to a rate of 0.35% p.a. Available on balances Up to $500,000.
Citibank Online Saver
1.1%
0.35%
0.75%
$0
Introductory rate of 1.1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.35% p.a. Available on balances Up to $500,000.
Virgin Money Boost Saver (18-24 year olds)
1.2%
0.1%
1.1%
$0
Customers aged 18-24 can earn an ongoing variable 1.2% p.a. each month you deposit at least $1,000 into your linked Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions.
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What types of accounts aren't included in the guarantee?

  • Share trading accounts
  • Debt and credit products
  • Super fund accounts
  • Personal loan accounts
  • Money on prepaid cards or gift cards

Is it possible your bank will go bankrupt?

It's very unlikely that an Australian bank will go bankrupt. Banks in Australia are highly regulated, and need to go through very strict application processes with the industry regulators to ensure they've got enough capital to manage a potential fall in the economy.

If a large majority of a banks mortgage, credit card and personal loan customers were suddenly unable to meet their interest repayments, the bank would use the capital from deposits to get them by for a while as a safety net. However, if all the deposit customers also suddenly want to withdraw their money, this is when the bank would find itself in trouble. This is one reason why the government promises to guarantee deposits up to $250,000 per customer: so deposit holders don't feel the need to run to the bank and withdraw their money all at once.

Remember, this is very unlikely to happen and is a 'worse-case' scenario. But it's good to know that if it were to happen, your deposit would be safe.

What if I have multiple accounts with different banks?

The scheme is applied per person per ADI. If you have several accounts with different ADIs, for example if you had one account with Westpac and another with CommBank each with $250,000, both would be covered in the scheme. But if you had two separate accounts with Westpac each with $250,000, you'd only be covered for the first $250,000.

It's important to understand that the government guarantee covers the underlying ADI, and not different brands. Some ADIs offer multiple accounts under different brand names. For example Bank SA, St.George and Bank or Melbourne are all part of Westpac and covered under the one ADI. If you have multiple accounts under different brand names but all under one ADI, the guarantee only applies to the one ADI and not the different brands.

Another example is UBank. UBank is protected under the Government Guarantee Scheme, but UBank is owned by NAB. This means that if you have $250,000 in an account with UBank, and $250,000 in an account with NAB, you'll only have $250,000 guaranteed as both banks operate under the same ADI licence.

What happens with joint accounts?

For joint accounts, each person is entitled to an individual guarantee. For example, for a joint account holding two people, the account is covered up to $500,000.

Does the Australian Government Guarantee Scheme include non-residents?

Yes, its does. The residency status of the account holder is irrelevant. If you're eligible and able to open an account and deposit money with a licensed ADI in Australia, then your deposit up to $250,000 is protected by the scheme.

Is my SMSF bank deposit covered under the government guarantee?

Yes, money held in an Australian ADI by an SMSF or trust is included in the scheme. The SMSF is considered to be one account holder, regardless of how many individual members or trustees are listed on the account. This means that if your SMSF has four members and there's a total of $500,000 in the bank account, it's treated as one account holder and only $250,000 is protected under the scheme.

Because an SMSF is considered to be its own account holder, if you have a personal account in your name and also an SMSF cash account with the same ADI, both would be protected (up to $250,000 each).

Are mortgages included in the government guarantee?

Your mortgage is a loan from the bank, so it's not covered in the government guarantee. If in the unlikely event that your bank did fail, deposit holders would be covered by the government and mortgages will likely be transferred to a partner bank or lender.

Are digital neobanks covered by the Australian Government Guarantee Scheme?

You might have heard about digital mobile banks like Xinja, Volt Bank, Up Bank and 86 400, and are wondering if they're safe. Rest assured, these banks need to go through a strict regulatory approval process to be granted an ADI license. If they're granted a full ADI license (which Xinja, Volt and 86 400 have been), then yes they are included in the Government Guarantee Scheme and your deposit up to $250,000 is protected.

Some of these banks, for example Up Bank, haven't got their own ADI license but instead are using the ADI license of an existing bank. Up Bank is using the license from Adelaide and Bendigo Bank, therefore your deposit up to $250,000 with Up Bank is protected under the scheme as well.

NOTE: Xinja has officially closed its bank accounts and handed its banking license back. Because it was included in the government guarantee scheme, if you were a Xinja customer your deposit up to $250,000 will be protected.

Can the government take my money to help bail out the bank?

If you're still a bit concerned about your money being used to help bail out a bank in trouble, you have little reason to be. The 'bail out' legislation says that the government can use other financial products, like debt products and securities (shares), to help bail out a struggling bank. However, for the purpose of this legislation a deposit product (like a bank account) isn't considered to be a financial product.

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36 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MichaelMarch 31, 2020

    Are the government guarantees of term deposits applicable to
    deposits in the name of corporations

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiApril 3, 2020

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder and I hope you are well.

      Yes, term deposits of corporations are included by the Government Guarantee for as long as it is not exceeding $250,000.

      I hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    WayneSeptember 6, 2019

    Hi Team,

    Is the Cairns Penny Bank a registered ADI bank?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniSeptember 7, 2019Staff

      Hi Wayne,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Cairns Penny Bank is an ADI. This means that this money is guaranteed up to $250,000 if anything happens to the Cairns Penny.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    MikeAugust 28, 2019

    Is the “depositor” covered by the government guarantee for say a term deposit, the superannuation fund or the beneficiaries in the fund. That is, if there are 2 beneficiaries in a super fund are they each covered to $250k or is it only $125 each?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The Australian Government has guaranteed deposits up to $250,000 in Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) such as your bank, building society or credit union. This means that this money is guaranteed if anything happens to the ADI (bank). The cap applies per person and per ADI.

      So, if you have up to $250,000 deposit to your bank, and it’s part of the ADI and something happens to your bank, you will be guaranteed $250,000. If you’re no longer available to claim it, or you’re already gone, your declared beneficiaries can claim it. It’s up to your beneficiaries how they will divide it. What’s true is that the guarantee is per per person, per account. Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    KevinJuly 8, 2019

    Would a self-managed super fund for my wife and I be able to have two term deposits of $250k guaranteed by the government.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJuly 9, 2019Staff

      Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Term deposits are covered as long as you deposit in one of Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) in Australia, however please note that the Australian Government guarantees deposits up to $250,000 per depositor’s name and bank/institution.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    NoelineJune 15, 2019

    Is the Australian Unity Bank covered by Goverment Guarantee on Term Deposits

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiJune 15, 2019

      Hi Noeline,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, Australian Unity is covered by the Australian Government guarantee on deposits covering up to $250,000 per person.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

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