Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Brussels bank levy framework

I must rename my blog 'Mr Angry' because there is so much out there to make one hopping mad. The latest thing to get my goat is the EU's 'let's get the bankers' tendency. So they announce today details of their plan to introduce a bank levy to ensure that national governments will not have to bail out failed banks in future. What is so wrong with that? Three things;

  • The UK's bailout cost hundreds of billions of pounds: will the proposed fund really have that much in it? I doubt it - I think this is just political posturing.
  • If a massive fund is established which has to be parked in government bonds then this will reduce average returns and hit their profits, which will reduce the value of those banks, many of which we now own through direct government stakes and all of which we own through our pension schemes.(so it is a tax on all of us)
  • The fund will also reduce funds available for lending at a time when governments are demanding increased lending (slightly contradictory policies here?)

So, in summary, it is a proposed policy that will not noticeably protect anyone, is an effective tax on everyone and acts counter to other EU and national government policies. Smart huh?

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