Westpac plans to keep giving money to political parties

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the National Press Club in Canberra. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.