Major bank helps shareholders give back

by Lena Woods17 Dec 2012

Westpac has launched a charitable initiative enabling its shareholders to donate a percentage of their dividends to various charitable organisations across Australia.

The bank hopes that, over time, millions of dollars will be raised for disadvantaged members of the community.

Westpac chairman, Lindsay Maxsted, says even small donations help.

“With more than 560,000 shareholders, the power of one shouldn’t be underestimated. If shareholders choose to donate even 1% of their dividends, together they can make a significant difference to people’s lives.”

Details of the plan, which will operate from the issue of the interim dividend in July 2013, will be sent to shareholders next week. Shareholders who wish to participate must specify what percentage of each dividend per share they would like to donate in order to have it automatically deducted.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible and shareholders will retain any available franking credits.

Money raised will benefit charities and grass roots organisations supported by the following charitable funds:

  • Westpac Foundation – supporting entrepreneurial solutions that tackle major issues such as poverty, homelessness, mental health, long-term unemployment and living with disability
  • St.George Foundation – helping small community organisations assisting children who are physically, socially or economically disadvantaged
  • Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund – giving local charities the means to solve community problems at grassroots levels
  • BankSA & Staff Charitable Fund – supporting communities in need in South Australia and the Northern Territory.