Prophecy in today's headlines

Global Bank Tax May Be Coming Next Year


Gordon Brown said on Wednesday the world’s leading economies were close to agreeing a global bank tax, amid hopes in Downing Street that a deal can be concluded at the G20 summit in Canada in June.

Mr Brown believes that opinion has shifted decisively in favour of a globally co-ordinated tax after President Barack Obama’s move last month to raise $90bn (£57.7bn) from a US bank levy.

The tax could cost the financial services sector tens of billions of pounds a year.

The prime minister has strongly advocated some kind of charge on banks. “I’m interested in the way support is building up for international action,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Last year, Mr Brown mooted a tax on bank transactions – a so-called Tobin tax – as one of a number of options to make sure the “contribution banks make to society is properly captured”.

The US immediately shot down that option, but the International Monetary Fund has been looking at other ideas.

Mr Brown believes that the IMF will endorse a global bank levy before its April meeting in Washington.


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