The two main states by population in Australia are Victoria and New South Wales, of which Melbourne and Sydney respectively are the largest cities. Adelaide is another major Australian city and is the capital of South Australia, while Perth is the largest city in Western Australia. The capital of Queensland is Brisbane and the largest city in the less populated Northern Territories is Darwin. The capital city of Tasmania is Hobart and although an island state, Tasmania is an important part of Australia.
Despite Canberra being the official capital of Australia, it is not the largest city and the major Australian banks are concentrated in the larger administrative centres of key cities, mainly Sydney and Melbourne. The largest four banks in Australia account for over three quarters of the available market share. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and the National Australia Bank are based in Melbourne while The Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation are based in Sydney. Other major cities such as Brisbane are bases for regional banks like the Bank of Queensland. Many international banks also have a foothold in the country.
Australia is a popular destination for individuals planning a long term trip, or even emigrating, and many people have relatives in the country. It is often necessary for people to make payments to Australia in the local currency, the Australian Dollar (AUD). Whether it is a simple money transfer between friends and relatives or to fund the purchase of a property, the issues faced by individuals when transferring money are very similar and there is a need to minimise transaction costs and achieve the best possible exchange rates with the narrowest spreads.
A specialist foreign exchange provider can help by offering more competitive exchange rates than high street banks and can offer lower fees for completing the transaction. In addition to the provision of competitive rates the level of service is excellent. For a low cost service that offers simplicity, foreign exchange providers are hard to beat and the availability of such services online mean that transactions can be conducted without having to travel from home.
Bank clearing times for foreign currency transactions are typically one day and the historic ties to other international countries makes the Australia dollar a strongly traded currency. Whilst foreign currency providers do not always speed up what is often already a fast service, they can offer a more competitive transaction and are proving to be an important asset to individuals and businesses that make regular foreign currency payments in Australian dollars.