Lender review

Bank SA

LoanCaddie Opinion

Borrowers should feel a level of familiarity with BankSA since is a part of Westpac. This also has its disadvantages as it also has a typical culture of a big four major bank. As with the other major four banks, Australians have a love/hate relationship with Westpac. There is a disdain for the major banks but Australia cannot live without them. Australian financial regulation protects the four major banks from takeover making them highly profitable and uncompetitive (akin to a utility company). Although they are strongly incentivsed by profit, they also operate on a social license which means they cannot ignore the demands of the government. Hence, although we reluctantly put up with their poor service levels, if there is a financial institution that is going to help Australian's out of a tough financial position, it will be one of the four major banks.

Facts and lender background

Bank SA has a colorful history. In 1848, the Savings Bank of South Australia opened for business and was guaranteed by the Government of South Australia. After excessive insufficiently secured lending through the 1980s, the bank collapsed, and because of the guarantee, was bailed out by the State Government. In 1992 the bank was split into the "bad bank" with the non-performing debts, and the "good bank". The "good bank" was acquired by the Advance Bank, who kept it operating as a separate entity under the name of the Bank of South Australia, trading as BankSA. Advance Bank (and its BankSA subsidiary) was in turn taken over in 1997 by St. George Bank. Since a 2008 merger, the bank has been part of Westpac.


Westpac has total assets of about $900bn.

Credit Rating

Westpac is rated AA- by S&P. The Australian Government's guarantee on deposits under the Financial Claims Scheme applies to deposits held with Westpac.


Bank SA is a part of Westpac. Westpac is publicly listed on the ASX.


30% of Westpac's funding is from the wholesale capital market.

Customer service
Product Review Rating

average is 2.1 / 5

Branch network

You are able to transact at more than 3,200 Australia Post outlets that display the Bank@Post sign. This provides you with real-time deposits and the ability to draw cash.

Internet banking

Internet banking is available.


Customers can withdraw cash free of charge from any of the major banks ATMs.