Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares have a big dividend yield.

Indeed, while the bank’s 8% share price fall in 2016 has dampened shareholders’ spirits, it has boosted its dividend yield dramatically.

Source: Google Finance

Source: Google Finance

In fact, Westpac’s dividend yield currently stands at 6.07% fully franked based on its last two dividend payments equivalent to $1.87 per share.

Is Westpac’s dividend too good to ignore?

Although no one can predict short-term share price movements, Westpac’s recent falls emphasise why it’s important to focus on the underlying fundamentals of a business before buying in.

Only then, having done your due diligence/research, can an investor be resolute when share prices fall unexpectedly.

For example, slowing house prices, waning profit growth and the potential for a cyclical downturn in the broader banking sector, are expected to take their toll on Westpac in the medium term. Therefore, buying shares for their dividend yield now could be premature.

Foolish takeaway

Before focusing on Westpac’s dividend yield, investors should consider the risks associated with an investment in its shares. So despite boasting a term-deposit-crushing dividend yield of 6.1% fully franked, personally, I’d like to see what happens to the banking sector over the coming six months before buying in.

Rather than the banks, I'm looking for other - faster growing - dividend shares to add to my portfolio, like the one The Motley Fool's expert analysts hand-picked as their best dividend share idea for 2016.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.