Let’s talk: Should banks be banned from giving political donations? 3

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It’s a subject that isn’t talked about all that often: Australia’s biggest banks donating millions to political parties.

As independent business, all of our major banks are entitled to donate do whichever party they please. This effectively means your bank could be donating millions to a party you would never vote for.

While all four of our major banks are in the spotlight right now due to the very public review into the finance sector, NAB has suddenly announced it will stop all donations to political parties.

In 2014-15, NAB gave $239,686 to the Liberals and Nationals and $35,600 to the Labor Party, reports Fairfax.

The year before, they gave $45,570 to the Coalition’s coffers and $43,500 to Labor’s; in 2012-13, it pumped $130,010 through to the Liberals and Nationals, and $56,850 to the ALP.

While all businesses have the right to donate to whatever political party they like, there are call for banks to be exempt from this given their unique position.

The Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac all donate to both of the major political parties, but usually support one over the other.

Many say they don’t want to give their money to a bank that donates to a party they would never support, while others say the banks should be able to fund whoever they like.

What are your thoughts? Should banks be banned from giving to political parties? Or is this just the way the world works?

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