Westpac will continue political donations and won’t follow the NAB in stopping payments.
Brian Hartzer, being questioned in the House of Representatives economics committee yesterday, said: “Our policy is very clear and we don’t have any plans to change it.”
The bank’s policy says:
We believe we have a responsibility to support the democratic process and make sure governments are well informed of our activities. We are therefore committed to ensuring that any political donations we make are:
- Solely for the purpose of supporting the democratic process
- Lawful and properly recorded in our accounts
- Adequately disclosed in accordance with relevant electoral laws
- Not made where there can be any misrepresentation of their purpose.
Australian Electoral Commission records show Westpac donated $176,455 in 2014-15 to political parties.
The ANZ Bank is reviewing its political support. Yesterday CEO Shayne Elliott was questioned by the parliamentary committee today about $1.65 million donated by the ANZ to the Coalition and Labor parties.
He replied: “We are having discussions with our board about political donations and our position on that.”
The NAB has revealed that it stopped making any political donations at a federal, state or local government level from May this year.
The Commonwealth Bank already has a policy of no political donations but it does attend events and the costs of this add up to as much as $100,000 a year, according to Australian Electoral Commission numbers.