PARIS (MNI) – The governments of Germany, the United Kingdom and
France today issued a joint communique in which they backed the idea of
tax on banks intended “to reflect the risks they pose to the financial
system and wider economy.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, unveiling an emergency
budget today, said the UK would unveil a national bank tax expected to
raise 2 billion pounds sterling. Germany announced plans for a bank levy
in March. France said today it would include a bank tax in its upcoming

All three countries pledged themselves to push for “ambitious”
financial sector reform at the upcoming G-20 meeting. A verbatim text of
the joint declaration is below:

“In light of agreement in the G20 that the financial sector should
make a fair and substantial contribution towards paying for any burdens
associated with government interventions to repair the banking system or
fund resolution of financial crises, and given the valuable work
undertaken by the IMF in response to this (and the conclusions of the
European Council on 17 June), the Governments of France, the United
Kingdom and Germany propose the introduction of bank levies based on
banks” balance sheets.

The United Kingdom bank tax is announced today, Tuesday 22 June in
the Budget. France will present the details of its bank tax in its
upcoming Budget Bill. Germany announced a framework for a national bank
levy at the end of March and will present draft legislation in the
Cabinet in summer. All three levies are designed to ensure that banks
make a fair contribution to reflect the risks they pose to the financial
system and wider economy, and to encourage banks to adjust their balance
sheets to reduce this risk. The specific design of each may differ to
reflect our various domestic circumstances and tax systems, but the
level of the levy will factor in the need to ensure a level playing

The French, UK and German Governments are committed to the full
implementation of the ambitious G20 financial sector reform agenda and
look forward to discussing these proposals further with international
partners at the G20 Summit in Toronto on 24th June.”

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