Letter to AFR 'Rear Window' re Bank donations and Community support

17 May 2005

I would like to express my disappointment at the cheap shot published in your section on Wednesday 11 May 2005 under the headline "Bank’s donation hardly a plunge".

Had you bothered to contact the Bank, you would have found out that the local branch at Yarra Junction was approached by representatives of the local pool who indicated that they were looking to raise $1,700 and that most businesses in the area were contributing $50 each. The branch Manager then arranged for the $200 donation, nearly 12% of the amount being sought. All your article has done is undermine the efforts of local branch staff.

You may be also interested to know that the Bank has a comprehensive community support program, the details of which would have been advised to you if you had contacted us or which are available on the Bank’s website.

The Bank supports many community causes and education programs. For example, it has long relationships with Breast Cancer Institute of Australia, Wesley Mission, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Disability.com.au and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. It is also a supporter of disaster appeals and recently gave $1 million to victims of the Asian Tsunami.

The Bank is also a significant contributor to financial literacy education in Australian schools having formed the Commonwealth Bank Foundation with seed funding of $70 million. Income earned on these funds is utilised to promote financial literacy amongst many areas of the community with a focus on school children. Full details on the Foundation are also available on the Bank’s website.

Bryan Fitzgerald

General Manager

Communication, Community and Reputation