Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)
Banking on Aussie Banks
AUSTRALIA'S banks offer a wide range of financial services to individuals and businesses and play an important role in the economy.
They value the communities in which they find themselves and community organisations receive millions of dollars of direct support from banks in various forms each year.
The industry also has a strong tradition of free education in financial skills and in 2003 embarked on a major new initiative in financial literacy.
As a major employer in Australia, banks have adopted progressive workplace policies with staff enjoying excellent salaries and flexible workplaces.
Banks are also vital to the Australian economy, being the third largest contributor to the nation's Gross Domestic Product.
By also acting as major players in Asia-Pacific financial markets, our banks help promote Australia in international commerce.
By supplying financial products and services, banks help the so-called areala economy function more efficiently, and like any other industries, they add value to national wealth.
Indeed, without the services banks provide, it would be extremely difficult to keep the wheels of commerce turning. Because of what banks do, and where they fit into the economic cycle, means some of the banking industry's key decisions have a direct impact on the economy.
On the other hand, decisions made by households and businesses directly reverberate on banks.
It is truly a two-way partnership.
The finance and insurance industry is the fourth largest industry in Australia's economy, generating eight per cent or $81 billion of real gross value added.
This contribution has grown from 7.1 per cent a decade ago.
One in 25 Australian workers is employed by the finance and insurance industry, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
Furthermore, more than 145,000 people are employed domestically by Australian banks and another 60,000 overseas.
Salaries worth $8 billion a year are injected into the economy.
Banks pay more than $14 billion a year in Australian company tax a more than any other industry a which helps provide schools, hospitals, roads and social security benefits.
This amounts to 17 per cent of the total amount of company tax paid in Australia. …