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NAB halts political donations

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Stuart Condie

National Australia Bank has stopped donating to political parties at all levels.

The lender, which handed out $275,286 to major political parties in 2014/15, put a halt to its donations in May.

"The NAB board believes that the group can best fulfil its commitment to a balanced approach to stakeholders through continuing to support the community directly, rather than through political donations," the bank said in a political donations policy document published on its website.

NAB's decision was made at a board meeting in May, but it has declined to say when it made the updated document publicly available.

NAB gave $239,686 to the Liberal and National parties at federal and state level in 2014/15, the most recent year for which returns to the Australian Electoral Commission are available.

Labor received $35,600 from NAB in the same period.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was ambivalent about the bank's decision.

"If NAB don't want to donate that's fine by me," Mr Shorten said.

"That's a matter for the banks. All I want is a Royal Commission."

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott told the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics on Wednesday that his bank was discussing whether to continue political donations.

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn will be questioned by the same committee on Thursday.

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