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Opening or closing trust accounts in the property, motor, auction and debt collector industry

You must have a trust account in order to handle money on behalf of another person.

Who needs a trust account

Licensees

You need a trust account if you intend to collect amounts on behalf of others and you have a licence to be:

  • a real estate agent
  • a resident letting agent
  • an auctioneer
  • a chattel auctioneer
  • a motor dealer (if you sell used vehicles on consignment)
  • a field agent (if you collect debts on behalf of someone else).

You don’t need a trust account if you’re employed by a licensee in any of the above businesses. However, your employer must have a trust account.

Collection agents

A collection agent is a type of debt collector that does not need a licence. If you are a principal collection agent and you receive money for someone, you will need to follow a specific process to open and operate a trust account.

If you are a collection agent, many details on this page may not apply.

Find out about collection agent trust accounts

Open a trust account

Apply for a relevant licence

Unless you are a collection agent, you must be the principal licensee of your business to operate a trust account.

This might be:

  • an individual licensee who owns the business
  • the relevant officer of a licensed corporation.

You must have your licence before you open the account.

Open your account

Once you have your licence, you may open an account with an approved financial institution.

The name of your trust account must contain the words:

  • trust account’ for a general trust account
  • special trust account’ for a special trust account.

You must give a copy of your licence to the institution before you can open an account.

You must use a Queensland branch of an approved financial institution. We have approved the following institutions:

  • Australia & New Zealand Banking Group
  • Bank of Queensland Limited
  • Bank of Western Australia Ltd
  • Bendigo Bank Limited
  • Capricornia Credit Union
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Heritage Building Society
  • HSBC Bank Australia Limited
  • Macquarie Bank Limited
  • National Australia Bank Limited
  • Queensland Country Credit Union
  • The Rock Building Society Limited
  • St. George Bank Limited
  • Suncorp-Metway Ltd
  • Westpac Banking Corporation

You will need to appoint an auditor within a month of opening your account. You have another month from the date of appointment to advise us in writing.

Open a special trust account

If you are a property agent, you may open a special trust account for a sale of real property. However, the way you use the account must meet the criteria set out in the legislation.

Find out about special trust accounts

Notify us

You must notify us that your account is open. Fill out the notification form and submit it to us within 2 months.

Notification of opening, closing or change of name of trust account (PDF, 160KB)

This will tell us:

  • the account’s status (a general trust account or special trust account)
  • the name and BSB number of your financial institution
  • the account name and number.

Close a trust account

You must tell us if you close a trust account. Fill out the notification form and submit it to us within 2 months.

Notification of opening, closing or change of name of trust account (PDF, 160KB)

This will tell us:

  • notify us that you have closed the account
  • lodge a final audit (if you stop being a principal licensee).

When you write to us you must tell us:

  • the account’s status (a general trust account or special trust account)
  • the name and BSB number of your financial institution
  • the account name and number.

Rename a trust account

You can change the name of a trust account. The name of the account must still contain the words ‘trust account’.

You must notify us of a name change. Fill out the notification form and submit it to us within 2 months.

Notification of opening, closing or change of name of trust account (PDF, 160KB)

This will tell us:

  • the account’s type (a general trust account)
  • the name and BSB number of your financial institution
  • the account name and number.