Project bank accounts for subcontractors (PBAs)

Information and resources on project bank accounts and how they affect you as a subcontractor on Department of Finance contracts.

Project bank accounts help you, as a subcontractor, receive payment from the head contractor on government building projects. They are a trust account where deposits by the Department of Finance are distributed to the head contractor and you at the same time.

We use project bank accounts on most construction contracts over $1.5 million. If your contract is over $20,000 you will automatically be paid through a project bank account. If your contract is for less than this, you can still opt in to be paid through the project bank account by notifying the head contractor. You should also register on the Personal Property Security Register as this helps protect your claim on payment owed if the head contractor becomes insolvent.

Project bank accounts do:

  • give you some protection against head contractors becoming insolvent
  • speed up payment
  • increase transparency and accountability of payment 

Project Bank accounts don’t:

  • change your contract with the head contractor
  • stop the head contractor from managing your work 
  • stop the head contractor from holding back payment for unsatisfactory work
  • stop you or the head contractor from adjudication or legal action over a dispute
  • prevent head contractors from getting into financial difficulties

For more information on project bank accounts watch the video below.

Subcontractors and project bank accounts video

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Watch the video on how payments are made through project bank accounts and how it affects you as a subcontractor.


Page reviewed 4 October 2019