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Community investment up to $217 million

12 November 2014

Westpac Group’s commitment to helping communities to prosper is reflected in its community investment of $217 million during the year, which includes contributions of money and time, management costs and in-kind contributions of gifts and foregone fee revenue.

This figure, which represents 2.02% of the Group's pre-tax profits, was boosted significantly by Westpac Group's $100 million investment to establish the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.

Siobhan Toohill, Westpac’s Head of Group Sustainability & Community said the investment continues Westpac’s long, proud history of local community support.

“Community involvement is a part of Westpac’s DNA - both through financial assistance and by our employees rolling up their sleeves to provide time, skills and extra hands,” she said.

“It has become a core part of our culture because we know that Westpac Group can only prosper if the communities in which it operates are prosperous.”

Siobhan added that Westpac employees' passion for community involvement continued to deepen during the year.

“Our annual engagement survey shows that 87% of responding employees feel that our community initiatives are helping to make a meaningful difference in the communities in which we operate. And 72% tell others outside the company about our community initiatives.
“These results indicate that it is a source of great pride, and is something that helps drive engagement,” Siobhan said.

Our employees also made charitable donations of more than $2.6 million which were matched dollar for dollar by Westpac Group through our Matching Gifts program. This meant around 650 Australian based charities received $5.3 million, up 16% from the previous year, bringing to $40 million the total donated to 1,700 charities through the Matching Gifts program since it began in 1999.

Our four charitable funds - Westpac Foundation, St.George Foundation, Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund and Bank SA Foundation - together distributed more than $4.5 million in grants during the year, up from $4.1 million last year.

These financial grants, together with non-financial support such as organisational mentoring, were primarily directed towards supporting social enterprises and finding innovative solutions to overcoming social disadvantage.