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Bank levy hits big banks harder

Robert Peston | 10:27 UK time, Thursday, 9 December 2010

The new bank levy is becoming weighted more towards the bigger banks, the Treasury has announced. And the tax rate is being increased fractionally.

It is still being charged largely on banks' short-term wholesale finance, the money they borrow for short periods from other financial institutions, corporates and very wealthy individuals, and on uninsured retail deposits (so deposits greater than £50,000).

However for each bank the first £20bn of such funding will now be exempt from the tax. Which means that banks with balance sheets only a touch bigger than £20bn will be more-or-less exempt from the tax (and those with balance sheets less than £20bn will be completely exempt).

In other words, the giant banks based in the UK will pay the lion's share of the tax. And in respect of British banks, the bulk of the tax will be paid by Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds.

In 2011, the levy rate will be 0.05%, with a 50% discount applied to uninsured retail deposits. The following year the rate rises to its permanent rate of 0.075% (and again half that for uninsured retail deposits).

These rates represent increases of 0.01 of a percentage point in 2011 and 0.005 of a percentage point in 2012 and onwards compared with the earlier indicated rates.

However because of tweaks in the way the levy is applied, the Treasury expects to raise only around £100m per annum more revenue from the tax than its earlier estimate.

So over the coming four years, the Treasury expects to receive a total of £8.8bn from the tax, with the take rising from £1.3bn next year to £2.6bn in 2013 and 2014.

As for individual banks, well it is difficult to be sure how much they will end up paying, because all of them are trying to reduce their reliance on the kind of short-term wholesale funding where the full levy rate applies.

However, if the tax had been applied to Royal Bank of Scotland's balance sheet at the end of 2009, it would have paid around £500m to the Exchequer.

Which is not a trivial sum of money, but is well under half of what RBS paid out in bonuses.

And of course the £2.6bn to be paid by the banks each year is a rounding error in the context of the £1.2 trillion of support provided by British taxpayers to the banking sector (in the form of investment, loans and guarantees) to keep the banks afloat at the height of the 2008-9 crisis.

Update 1055: RBS has calculated that, based on its 2009 balance sheet, the bank levy would cost it £315m in 2011 and £473m in 2012. But remember that, like all the big banks, RBS is both shrinking its balance sheet and trying to become less reliant on short-term wholesale funding. So it may well end up paying rather less.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    How many of our banks, if any are still getting short-term, bridging loans from the Fed?

  • Comment number 2.

    RP:
    "And of course the £2.6bn to be paid by the banks each year is a rounding error in the context of the £1.2 trillion of support provided by British taxpayers to the banking sector (in the form of investment, loans and guarantees) to keep the banks afloat at the height of the 2008-9 crisis."

    Sensationalist again. Try reporting on how much cash was given and how much has been received as I am sure the public would better understand what it has actually cost and what is going to be paid back through tax and share sales. Hmmm, perhaps the banks will end up paying more than they borrowed. That is bad, is it not, if someone made a profit......

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    this levy is indeed a fraction of what the sector could afford to pay. according to research by the IPPR for the Robin Hood Tax campaign the sector could afford to pay an extra 20 billion pounds a year in tax to the exchequer. This would go a long way to preventing the worst of the cuts and paying down our deficit, which of course was caused in large part by the reckless behaviour of the same banks.
    (Do visit the campaign at www.robinhoodtax.org- brilliant campaign to demand the financial sector pay a reasonable amount in tax- a quarter of a million have signed up already)

  • Comment number 5.

    What about taxing all the money that the Banks 'borrow' from us?
    When money is sent at the push of a button, why do banks keep our money so long before passing it to us?
    The answer is that all this money allows them to keep their trading going and makes them 3-5% per day. And they proudly boast 3% per year for all the money that people 'save' with them! This money that is held in transaction is an enforced 'loan' and entirely indefensible.
    I called it theft to a Barrister friend. He was not happy in a legal sense, but entirely agreed with me morally.

  • Comment number 6.

    Robert,

    Do you think the banks have also factored in how much they might be paying out after they are sued by the Trust acting on behalf of the Madoff investors?

    Lets hope these bankers are as clever as their salary suggests - otherwise there may be trouble ahead....

    If only the world knew how thick bankers and economists really are - they wouldn't be so quick to let them off the hook if they did.

    I must say - this sentence is so wrong in so many ways.
    "Which is not a trivial sum of money, but is well under half of what RBS paid out in bonuses."

    ...now who's coming out to support the banks today? - any takers?

  • Comment number 7.

    Not forgetting that two of the listed are largely public sector organisations from whom we should expect a useful dividend unless that is affected by the levy. In effect it amounts to a subtle form of taxation in the context of an oligopolistic controlled market through the operation of margin inflation on both borrowers and lenders. Having a permanent public sector presence would facilitate a datum for margins in this wild west industry.

  • Comment number 8.

    2. At 10:59am on 9th Dec 2010, yam yzf wrote:


    "Sensationalist again. Try reporting on how much cash was given and how much has been received as I am sure the public would better understand what it has actually cost and what is going to be paid back through tax and share sales. Hmmm, perhaps the banks will end up paying more than they borrowed. That is bad, is it not, if someone made a profit......"


    ...and perhaps PIIGS will really fly one day! - you're loyalty to banks shows no shame, sense or reason - but then I guess that's the only way you can support them - through simple insanity.

    Go and look up oppourtunity cost before you start prattling on about 'paying back more than they borrowed' - this isn't a game of Monopoly you know!

  • Comment number 9.

    8. At 11:54am on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "this isn't a game of Monopoly you know!"

    Actually, it is. You buy and sell and try to make more money than others and invest to make what you own worth more. It is all part of a greater game that is called life. And that game also includes Twister, Ludo, Cluedo and lots more. Perhaps if more people played Monopoly, then they would understand more :-)

    As regards opportunity cost, :

    "Opportunity cost is the cost related to the next-best choice available to someone who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices"


    And that was my point which I will quote here again :

    "I am sure the public would better understand what it has actually cost "

  • Comment number 10.

    9. At 12:04pm on 9th Dec 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "Actually, it is. You buy and sell and try to make more money than others and invest to make what you own worth more. It is all part of a greater game that is called life. And that game also includes Twister, Ludo, Cluedo and lots more. Perhaps if more people played Monopoly, then they would understand more :-)"

    ...and with that your analysis and mine part ways...

    "And that was my point which I will quote here again :"

    "I am sure the public would better understand what it has actually cost "

    Weren't you sugesting that the cost would be less than what Robert was citing (accusing him of sensationalism)? - sorry but opportunity cost demonstrates the cost of supporting and bailing out banks is far greater than even Robert 'sensationalises'.

    ...but don't let these minor details get in the way of a good old bashing of the truth in favour of a surrealist economic story.

  • Comment number 11.

    10. At 12:11pm on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "Weren't you sugesting that the cost would be less than what Robert was citing (accusing him of sensationalism)? - sorry but opportunity cost demonstrates the cost of supporting and bailing out banks is far greater than even Robert 'sensationalises'."

    YEs I was. Have you seen £1.2trn moving from Treasury accounts to the banks? No, you have not. Ergo the "cost" is not £1.2trn

  • Comment number 12.

    This is a small step in the right direction. It seems to be designed to discourage borrowing by banks from the short term money market and lending long. So it does attack the root of the problem in the banking system, which contributes to the instability of the world's monetary systems.

    But it is just a pinprick. Why not introduce regulations which ban the undesirable behaviour of banks, rather than merely discouraging them by taxation?

    Governments do not seem to realise that as banks reduce their risky lending, they must compensate for the reduction in credit by taking fiscal and monetary steps to increase the money supply, so that economies can function without that credit.

    The combination of measures to reduce bank lending with austerity budgeting is most inappropriate. It is a double whammy which will cause disaster, when the beneficial effects of the earlier fiscal stimuli wear off.

  • Comment number 13.

    9. At 12:04pm on 9th Dec 2010, yam yzf

    Ah, but in Monopoly everyone gets to start with the same $1500 and plays by the same rules.

  • Comment number 14.

    3. At 11:31am on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall

    Welcome back, the Capitalists have been getting a little out of hand. They still think the Neoliberals have it right.

  • Comment number 15.

    yam yzf @ 9..
    8. At 11:54am on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "this isn't a game of Monopoly you know!"

    Actually, it is. You buy and sell and try to make more money than others and invest to make what you own worth more. It is all part of a greater game that is called life. And that game also includes Twister, Ludo, Cluedo and lots more. Perhaps if more people played Monopoly, then they would understand more :-)
    -------------------------

    I thought we were playing "credit crunch"..
    http://www.economist.com/node/12798307?Story_ID=12798307

    I played life once but it wasn't a good game. Do they still make it? I'm waiting for death to come out. I've heard it's going to be heavenly.

  • Comment number 16.

    13. At 12:28pm on 9th Dec 2010, Squarepeg wrote:

    "Ah, but in Monopoly everyone gets to start with the same $1500 and plays by the same rules"

    So let's give everyone £1m at Christmas and see what happens next :-) Am sure that by the New Year some would be broke and some would not.

  • Comment number 17.

    14. At 12:33pm on 9th Dec 2010, Squarepeg wrote:

    3. At 11:31am on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall

    "Welcome back, the Capitalists have been getting a little out of hand. They still think the Neoliberals have it right."

    They have much to learn - and so little mental capicity in which to learn it!

    I read an excellent book while I was away - checking on the American depression (and yes, it's definitely a depression, the muni's are so close to popping even the banks are nervous).

    It's called "the new golden age" by ravi batra - if you haven't read it I recommend a copy from the library (or buy it if you feel flush) - it's a real eye opener.

    It even has accurate predictions and solutions - for all those capitalists who seek "an idiots guide" - but sadly for them the result is still the same.

    It's always reassuring to read a respected economist coming to the same conclusions as yourself - demonstrates that you were on the right track all along.

    What is most interesting is the exposing of the 'Ivy league' economists who dominate political policy and who are often quoted by the media - all of whom base their theories on a small number of incorrect assumptions.

    It just goes to show, with a few lights, some mirrors and a few banknotes - you can fool al of the people, some of the time - or some of the people, all of the time.

    However you cannot fool all of the people all of the time - and at the moment the number of fools are diminishing rapidly...

  • Comment number 18.

    Banks again?

    OCD RP?

    GC

  • Comment number 19.

    Writingonsthewall - welcome back, hope the break has been good for you... have missed your commentary.

  • Comment number 20.

    16. At 12:56pm on 9th Dec 2010, yam yzf

    But that would only price a house in Mayfair at a little over £130,000. The current asking price is a little over £2.5m. If you started out Monopoly with $29,000 each the game might not work so well.

    This system that you like so much, its body is historic privilege, its life blood is inequality.

  • Comment number 21.

    • 17. At 12:59pm on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    14. At 12:33pm on 9th Dec 2010, Squarepeg wrote:

    3. At 11:31am on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall

    "Welcome back, the Capitalists have been getting a little out of hand. They still think the Neoliberals have it right."

    They have much to learn - and so little mental capicity in which to learn it!

    I read an excellent book while I was away - checking on the American depression (and yes, it's definitely a depression, the muni's are so close to popping even the banks are nervous).

    It's called "the new golden age" by ravi batra - if you haven't read it I recommend a copy from the library (or buy it if you feel flush) - it's a real eye opener.
    …………..
    Welcome back. That book sounds like a good read. Whilst you were away the pack of cards continues to sway. Even Gordon’s noticed, although his solutions are typical neoliberal. Here’s something to enjoy;
    “Following the problems with the Greek and Irish economies and the imminent collapse of the Euro zone, uncertainty has now hit Japan.
    In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
    Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.
    While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.
    Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal. “

  • Comment number 22.

    Well now, am I to take it that this bank levy is being done unilaterally in the UK, without consultation with or in union with the EU?
    Something about the UK bank levy leaves me quaking.
    1. the first £20bn of such funding will be EXEMPT from the tax.
    2. in respect of British banks, the bulk of the tax will be paid by Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds.
    3. the tweaks, generated by the finest financial minds that these financial institutions "too big to fail" will cause disparity in the way the levy is applied; therefore,
    4. the Treasury expectation to raise only @ £100m per annum exists only in its imagination.
    Taxation must be uniform; there must be absolute rules, regulations.
    Even now, as you say, it's difficult to ascertain how much they will end up paying, because all of them are "trying to reduce their reliance on the kind of short-term wholesale funding where the full levy rate applies." When one bank finds out how to do it, the news will spread to all the others, and the Government will be running around like the Little Dytch Boy trying to plug the holes in what it can and cannot tax.
    Update 1055: RBS has calculated that, based on its 2009 balance sheet, the bank levy would cost it £315m in 2011 and £473m in 2012. (Don't count on it! I can juggle figure with the best of them, and I'm telling you very little tax will be generated.)
    The rate for 2011 will be 0.05 per cent, rather than 0.04 percent, and it will rise to 0.075 per cent from 2012, instead of the 0.07 per cent announced in June. These changes, along with the introduction of an allowance (What is this?), rather than a threshold, for those liabilities to which the levy applies, will generate around £21/2 billion of annual revenues. This is in line with the Budget estimates. ((Don't count on it! I can juggle figure with the best of them, and I'm telling you very little tax will be generated.)
    The levy is INTENDED to encourage banks to move to less risky funding profiles, but will they? The big money is in the risk - the gambling, speculation, hedges, CDOs, derivative bundles. So INTEND what you like, but the UK will remain 'AT RISK".
    The levy will take effect from 1 January 2011 and will be permanent. Mark Hoban said: "We have consulted on the design of the scheme" (with whom?) so that it achieves two objectives:
    1. ensuring that banks make a fair contribution in respect of the potential risks they pose to the UK financial system and wider economy. (Not going to happen.)
    2. the final scheme design will encourage the banks to make greater use of more stable sources of funding, such as long-term debt and equity. (Not going to happen.)
    In comparison to the financial reform of the United States, I think this bank levy will not reduce risk, will not add recapitilization, and can be stepped around by any junior accountant with a fair imagination.
    If the UK is into bank levies, why not make it uniform with Brussels and the EU because if you don't, if arrogance gets in your way, if ties between financial institutions/Governments/and campaign donations get in the way, it is British taxpayers that will bear the weight of the Government's ignorance.

  • Comment number 23.

    With this all the banks will move the tax paying sides of the business abroad to a less intensive tax regime so destroying the myth of the last few years that the banks will get the UK out of the mess it is in. Politicians have promised, or as is now coming out repeated, the words of the banks that they would grow the UK and bring in employment, create employment and bring the UK to a world power.
    I of course am paraphrasing Boris Johnston and the like but look what the word of the banks is.
    My question is if the country is giving hard earned cash to the banks and our government has matched our cash and more, what do we get in return? No-one has really answered this for me yet. Do we all come into a monster tax cut in a couple of years time?

  • Comment number 24.

    Basically publicly owned banks paying a tax on the tax money provided. Would be fair if the tax was on shareholder dividends. Those who benefited from the criminal loans should be the ones who pay the tax. Reduce the loans to government to 1.5% and the debt is greatly reduced. The banks are making billions on the money loaned to governments, taxpayer money, this is the pretense of something being done when in reality it is a circle of money all from the taxpayer. No incentives for the bankers not to do it all again...and they will.

  • Comment number 25.

    Whilst we bandy about the monopoly analogy, at the end of the game, give or take an odd bank note all the money adds up, whereas in the real world the banker would have needed 100 sets of money to cover his debts.

    I think of it more as a game of snakes and ladders, with normal people continually getting the snakes, and a select few allowed to use the ladders.

  • Comment number 26.

    >17. At 12:59pm on 9th Dec 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    >
    >What is most interesting is the exposing of the 'Ivy league' economists who dominate >political policy and who are often quoted by the media - all of whom base their >theories on a small number of incorrect assumptions.


    Indeed.
    I have (for a long time now) been stating that one of the biggest problems in the business world is something I term 'The Harvard Business Model'.
    Ok it's a little unfair to tag it all just to Harvard, but outside the US in particular it is their name that sticks out as the most recognisable.

    Crazy assumption upon crazy solution, it is this 'school of thought' that constantly turns up trumpeting Dilbert style CWB phrases as being the be all and end all of business communication and believes that 'blue ocean' markets actually exist!

    Such thought processes are at the root of huge numbers of failures throughout the western business world- and we've been trying to export them to the rest of the planet to boot!

  • Comment number 27.

    19. At 13:23pm on 9th Dec 2010, RocketNuts96 wrote:

    "Writingonsthewall - welcome back, hope the break has been good for you... have missed your commentary."

    A break is as good as a rest - and now I'm rested it's time for some truths to be told. I've been in the US for a few weeks so I've seen real economic fantasy, lead by Fox news (a channel so paranoid it has to continually attack it's rivals - even though they don't seem to care - I don't know who C-span are yet, but they have the clowns at fox running scared)

    ...anyway, while I was away there was talk of a bailout....but I must have mis-heard.....

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23905513-fitch-cuts-irelands-rating-to-near-junk.do

    ...this is a 'bottom out' - not a bailout, silly me, my hearing must be going.

    It's funny because the US media keeps talking about something called a 'recovery' - but nobody can actually describe what it looks like, or where it is, or even when it is - it's truly an ellusive concept.

    Has anyone see the CNN program 'Mad Money' - after watching that I can understand why there are so many people who think they can win at Capitalism.

    ...I bet they never even read the smallprint at the bottom at the end of the show...

    I won't be here long today, got to get down to the protests - I mean some of us do work for a living (despite the media's prejudices about those who support the students plight)

  • Comment number 28.

    The public needs lots of money right now. The banks make mega profits out of the public. The solution is simple.

  • Comment number 29.

    20. At 13:30pm on 9th Dec 2010, Squarepeg wrote:

    "This system that you like so much, its body is historic privilege, its life blood is inequality."

    Ah - inequality.....well it's funny how inequality is supported by the Capitalist when it's his unequal wealth against your unequal poverty - but not so keen is the Capitalist on the inequality between your superior physical strength and his puniness!

    ...or his pathetic internet security against your superior technical ingenuity!

  • Comment number 30.

    21. At 13:39pm on 9th Dec 2010, Averagejoe

    Definitely read Ravi's book - I don't recommend many things but this is a good one.

    ...I also heard the staff at Chase bank are going round in circles...

  • Comment number 31.

    23. At 13:45pm on 9th Dec 2010, barry white wrote:

    "Politicians have promised, or as is now coming out repeated, the words of the banks that they would grow the UK and bring in employment, create employment and bring the UK to a world power."

    Yes - of course, for they will outsource our jobs to cheaper countries, create greater profits from that outsourcing - and naturally they will create more jobs in the UK with those profits....

    ...except history has proven time and time again this is not true (George Bush created 0.7 million jobs with his tax cuts for the 'wealth creators' - compared to Clintons 'millions' with his 'excessive spending' - and yes, private sector jobs not public ones)

    ...but the Economists don't allow that sort of truth to cloud their judgement - they still preach that free trade in this manner will lead to "greater wealth for all".

    (all being the few who already have it)

  • Comment number 32.

    Most banks are now a wash with money, they have had billions of pounds thrown at them yet they are not lending any out its a win win. So they should be paying back more cash to the government and not hanging on to it!
    Only trouble is the economy is stalling or virtually stopped because of there actions, there nervous about lending to anybody hence the squeeze which will feed into lower sales in the high street and housing market.Batten down the hatches and hope the problems go away, bit ironic really because there the ones that created this mess!

  • Comment number 33.

    welcome back WOTW!

    what's your take on Bank of America? I've been watching them for some time now and think they could well be the next crisis in the making.

    ..and we'll find out a lot more when wikileaks release their dossier on them in Feb (?)

    have a look at their 6 MONTH chart here
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=BAC:US

  • Comment number 34.

    @2, yam yzf wrote:

    "Hmmm, perhaps the banks will end up paying more than they borrowed."

    Shock, horror!

    You don't mean that banks will have to do what they make us do, pay back more than we borrow.

  • Comment number 35.

    [[[21. At 13:39pm on 9th Dec 2010, Averagejoe wrote: ]]]

    Idon't know where you got the Japaneses story from but it was brilliant. Had me howling. Now being passed around cyberspace a t a rate of knots.

    Cheers

  • Comment number 36.

    33. At 14:49pm on 9th Dec 2010, avulcan wrote:


    "what's your take on Bank of America? I've been watching them for some time now and think they could well be the next crisis in the making."

    Well if they make it through 'fraudclosure' they still have to traverse the difficult terrain of states going bankrupt - I also hear they're the worst capitalised.

    "..and we'll find out a lot more when wikileaks release their dossier on them in Feb (?)"

    Won't it be funny if there are conversations between CEO's such as...

    "those dummy taxpayers fell for it again" or "I can't believe they bought that TARP rubbish"

    I'm just waiting for the titbit of "well by the time the schmucks work this little web of deciet out we'll be in Mexico"

    ...I think then the sympathisers might find it a little more difficult to blindly support the banks (although I bet they still try - they have no shame left!)

  • Comment number 37.

    I agree with 32

    The banks have loads of money but are hoarding it. that is why the various business federations are crying out for more lending. Hoarding is usual at the bottom of a cycle as the banks still fear debts etc. My guess would be that there is still loads of debt out there that the banks are trying to hide so wait until next spring when they have to declare the yearly balance sheets and first quarters, then they will go to the government for more cash.

    That is why the cuts package is so big and so quick: in order to shore up the government's ability to borrow money to bail out the banks again. Otherwise why not nationalise them properly and repudiate the debts. That's what Ireland should have done, the losers would have been the markets.

    But in Ireland and especially the UK, it is finance capital that is dominant and calls the shots. I wrote a long article about it (http://tinyurl.com/35c86md) looking at the structural changes in the UK economy over the past 20 years and how it affected policy.

    Now of course in Ireland and here the losers are the great mass of people who are having their services, wages, benefits etc cut in order to transfer money over to business and, importantly, open up new areas for profit.

  • Comment number 38.

    Am I missing something ?
    If uninsured retail deposits are to be taxed, does this mean that for every £1 that Lloyds, HSBC, etc hold for a customer over £50,000 (about to increase to £90,000/EUR 100,000), the banks have to pay tax on it ?

    If so, will it not lead the big banks to ensure that their customer's deposits are always below the £90,000 limit, or will customers start receiving negative rates of interest from the banks for holding over £100,000 ???

    I can't get my head around it.
    Any help greatly appreciated.

  • Comment number 39.

    3. At 11:31am on 9th Dec 2010, You wrote:

    "Your comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain"

    That's interesting - it was OK 2 hours ago!

    Maybe the US state department have dropped you an E-mail and warned you about me....don't worry, I am well prepared.

  • Comment number 40.

    Afternoon Robert,
    now let me see if I've got this right,
    the taxpayer provides cash to RBS and LLoyds to keep them solvent, they don't lend it out but put it on reserve, the Government (Treasury) sees an opportunity to get more into the coffers so introduce a superb wheeze of a bank (miscellaneous provisions) tax.
    Surely, banks, like Governments do not have ANY money of their own so any tax on banks will simply be paid by their customers?!
    Be careful what you wish for from these snake-oil salesmen!

  • Comment number 41.

    The police have started charging with their horses.

    Oppression has officially begun.

  • Comment number 42.

    So, I see that I was right: the UK has gone forward with a bank levy without a green light from Brussels. Tsk, tsk, tsk...
    Did the Coalition Government not see (or not care) that this will pose additional problems for the EU as well as for BRITISH BANKS?
    A financial report discussed by the EU's finance ministers December 7, 2010 demonstrates a pretty DARK picture of the potentially high costs and disparities bank levies could cause in the bloc's financial sector.
    A bank levy is intended to stop the need for taxpayers to pay for bailouts.
    EU finance ministers last year called on the European Commission to come up with a "powerful", integrated proposal to ensure that the financial sector contributes towards its own bailout fund while helping the taxpayers with the national fiscal deficits.
    Plans for a bank levy have been struggling along in several EU countries after G20 talks in 2009 and 2010 failed to bring about a multilateral agreement. Given the lack of global and European consensus on how to prevent another financial crisis, some countries have simply forged ahead, on their own without much thought to impact across Europe, far less the rest of the world.
    Belgium, Germany, BRITAIN, France, Sweden, Cyprus, Austria, Portugal, Denmark and Hungary have plans to introduce levies as early as next year, but I sure hope they don't.
    Why?
    The EU proposed 'preventive' bank levy at the December 7th meeting in Brussels.
    No doubt, finance ministers paid attention to the severe warning sent by the EU on how haphazard tax application on financial institutions in different countries could be potentially damaging to the entire financial sector and the EU market as a whole, or did they?
    In the levy report, the EU speaks about the risks borne by banks who may be taxed twice as countries impose levies that charge both their home and foreign subsidiaries, or that charge foreign banks on their own territory.
    The potential for double-charging is extremely high. There are 21 member states hosting EU-owned subsidiaries while nine member states are home to other taxation-relevant EU branches.
    It warns that the levies risk seriously unsettling an increasingly uneven playing field in the financial sector and may drive business away from the EU. In wake of the talks, diplomats from EU countries with large financial centres say they will be taking the report's findings seriously and may have to negotiate bilateral agreements to avoid doubling taxation. Has the UK done this?
    After all, Germany is singled out in the report as being at high risk of double taxation by French and BRITISH levies.
    Yes, it appears that France and the UK already have some sort of agreement on bilateral taxation, but I can't find it (yet). An EU source said Germany would be close behind in laying down bilateral agreements to prevent distortions.
    The European Commission has proposed a Bank Resolution Fund – or in financial language, a levy - which takes a different approach to systems that are being introduced in different member states. The proposal's preference for the funds is capitilization, not reduction of national budgets. This seems to have miffed BRITAIN.
    The starkest predictions affect banks in the Central and Eastern European region, which have the largest proportion of foreign banks in the 27-member bloc.
    Austrian banks would be worst off with a 8.1% hit in Bulgaria, 23.7% in the Czech Republic and 16.7% in Hungary. Wow, this is really a mess!
    The highest and most worrying figures belong to Greek subsidiaries abroad, which take a 19.1% hit in Bulgaria and 18.8% in Cyprus. And Greek is already in trouble!!
    In other words, this is really a mess!
    This bank levying should have been done uniformly - all concerned countries working together to come up with a uniform (Constitutional) Act that would mean - wherever a bank goes in Europe, it will encounter the same rules and not face double taxation.
    It's not too late to work together, and it better happen.

  • Comment number 43.

    outside "the mother of parliaments" (think they missed a word out there!) supporting the students and it's kicking off big style... smoke bombs, flares, missiles, sticks, metal barriers, a pool ball just whizzed past my ear

    the English are finally finding they have a flare for direct action...

  • Comment number 44.

    42 Bluesberry

    yes indeed interesting line, 'if you only weed part of the garden...'

    (or perhaps more accurately, if you only half-heartedly go through the motions, sort of, in part of the garden, when you can't get out of it...)

  • Comment number 45.

    #41. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "The police have started charging with their horses. Oppression has officially begun."

    Not really see: The Gordon Riots (285 dead) - the troops using live ammunition on the rioters shooting them dead and the authorities lost complete control of London. The Peterloo Massacre (18 dead) later too. I myself recall Paris in 1968. What of the year of revolutions of 1848! Even Hitler's pogroms (Kristallnacht) only killed 90 odd on that one night. What of the National Guard at Kent State that killed 4. Pop Pot killed up to 2.5 million. We do need to keep a grip on our language else when (and if) things get worse we will have no adjectives left!

    Pogroms are fairly easy to start but very difficult to end! Don't help them!

  • Comment number 46.

    Look, the Bankers are on Social Security - 'on the Social'. So they should be treated and paid at the same level as anyone else receiving Social Security. What is fair for one - must be fair for everyone!

  • Comment number 47.

    please watch RIPOFF BRITAIN broadcast today .....
    The bewitching Gloria Hunniford interviews a representative of British Banks and tries to find out what has happened to £24 million pounds of ISA interest lost during transfer from one institution to another.
    The twerp she was interviewing....... first he tried to say that the government had only bailed out two banks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (the banking community have completely forgotten about HBOS, Northern Rock, Dunfermline Building Society etc.) Never mind 12 billion pounds of QE!!!!!
    Then she quizzed him on bank salaries and bonuses.....stock answer we have to pay for talent.....WHAT TALENT?...his talent?
    Then a complete fob off non answer about the 'lost' ISA interest. Gloria was not tough enough on him, he deserved a PAXMAN.
    This programme should be shown at primetime, and this interview recorded for posterity as a record of why the banks went bust..... it employed 'talent' such as this.
    Two years and no action from government on the pitiable state of UK banking.

  • Comment number 48.

    "Then she quizzed him on bank salaries and bonuses.....stock answer we have to pay for talent.....WHAT TALENT?...his talent?"

    Totally agree the bonus culture needs radical reform but our journalists are showing a deriliction of duty by trotting out the government line. There is a revolving door phenomenon of bankers becoming politicians becoming bankers. This results in a highly effective lobby to maintain the status quo.

    What sane person can argue that 40+% of net turnover is a reward for talent. The banks losses are underwritten by tax payer and therefore no matter how they perform they are rewarded. What other walk of life gives this guarantee. This inverse socialism would have Arthur Scargill blushing with embarrassment.

    All of the major banks have their hands in the countries taxpayers' pockets. Why else did Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley convert to a bank holding company? It becomes a parasitic relationship where the taxpayer gains no advantage and the banks consume the host.
    The only reason they can get away with it is that there is no global regulation on bonuses so they can play the "talent" card.

    I dont mind Board Directors getting big salaries because they are accountable and their salaries are declared in the annual reports. However, the FSA revealed that almost 3000 faceless "talented" people from ONLY 13 banks were given a £1M MINIMUM bonanza and yet they continue to walk between the raindrops and nobody says anything.

    Sooner or later someone is going to do a Howard Beale, the news anchor from the film Network.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE

    Could this be you Robert? :)

  • Comment number 49.

    43. At 16:46pm on 9th Dec 2010, get up stand up wrote:
    outside "the mother of parliaments" (think they missed a word out there!) supporting the students and it's kicking off big style... smoke bombs, flares, missiles, sticks, metal barriers, a pool ball just whizzed past my ear

    the English are finally finding they have a flare for direct action...

    ==================

    Maybe you are very young, the English 'Left' has always had this desire to scupper any Government but its own, Scargill, Poll Tax riots.

  • Comment number 50.

    #41. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "The police have started charging with their horses. Oppression has officially begun."

    Others might describe it as maintaining law and order. Peaceful protest is a right, violent rioting is a crime.

    I thought you would be down there today, demonstrating your support for the rioters. Was it too chilly for you?

  • Comment number 51.

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the Bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The Bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge - even to ourselves - that we’ve been so credulous.”

    Carl Sagan

  • Comment number 52.

    'the £2.6bn to be paid by the banks each year is a rounding error in the context of the £1.2 trillion of support provided by British taxpayers to the banking sector (in the form of investment, loans and guarantees) to keep the banks afloat at the height of the 2008-9 crisis."

    yam yzf says 'Sensationalist again.'

    Some bloggers won't like this, but yam yzf is completely right and WOTW is completely wrong. Robert's figure of £1.2 trillion is mainly guarantees for which the banks pay a fee and which haven't been called upon at all. And there is no opportunity cost, because the government could also offer guarantees to other people who don't need them. In fact there's almost no limit to the number of unnecessary guarantees any government could issue. Gosh! Think of all the fees it could collect. It could guarantee my collection of socks up to a value of £1.2 trillion and charge me 10% of my annual income for the favour.

  • Comment number 53.

    "The tax take will be less than half what the banks pays out in bonuses" !!!'
    I thought the idea was to get our money back and to discourage the gung-ho bonus culture.

    The Bank Levy tax-take might be 2x2.6bn.gbp.pa from the big banks, with proportionately reduced take from smaller banks. This will match the annual bonus awards.
    As bonuses are progressively discouraged the tax-take can be adjusted accordingly ...... but when, and only when, the 1.2tn.gbp has been returned by the banks to the taxpayer.

    At this higher rate of Levy, this should be completely paid back in 240 years time.

    Bankrupcy should not be a route to write-off; all directors and all shareholders, and ALL their assets, should devolve immediately to the state to cover any outstanding monies owing to the tax-payer.

    Yes, this is a joke. I fully expect the next six parliaments to claw back the (EU-wide)amount owed to us by the banks in 1/10 of the time - 24 years. Today I am feeling generous.

  • Comment number 54.

    47. At 17:44pm on 9th Dec 2010, startsmall wrote:
    "please watch RIPOFF BRITAIN broadcast today ....."

    Just watched that bit (it starts after 34 minutes and some seconds).

    So during the 15 day ISA transfer period the financial institutions play the fruit machines and the profit they make on that 'covers the cost it takes to transfer the account'.... Button pressed. Ok, I appreciate that there are administration fees. This either demonstrates that the current administration process is woefully inefficient or after 15 days of 'gambling' they make about a tenner. I would have thought that £10 would be an administrators hourly salary. Press button to view account holder's account. Press button to transfer account to a pre-determined organisation. I pressed buttons today to transfer my money into a friends account. It was (sic) rocket surgery.

    In the past I think we have been impressed by politicians ability to avoid answering questions as a sign of intelligence. With this banker's inability to answer 'The bewitching Gloria Hunniford' questions I just think he didn't understand the questions.

    Muppet

  • Comment number 55.

    I suppose the bank levy is just a drop in the ocean but at least its better than nothing.

    Presumably this does not depend on the banks profits for it could be many years before the billions of pounds banks can claim back against tax paid in previous years for their losses during the credit crunch will once again turn positive for the treasury.

  • Comment number 56.

    26. At 14:09pm on 9th Dec 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    I often ponder out how 'Harvard' produced 1 numpty let alone so many for so long?
    I mean, surely there is some kind of quality control, some kind of external examination - I had that for even my undergrad degree.

    And then I remind myself about the lesson of price does not always match quality.
    and then I look at the marketing of women's flimsy, ultra-expensive shoes and the glam marketing used to sell them, or the fancy packaging for ridiculously priced Friday night/scary receptionist war paint/make-up.

    Then it all makes sense, perhaps. Though having never set foot in Yale/Harvard/etc lecture theatres...

  • Comment number 57.

    21. At 13:39pm on 9th Dec 2010, Averagejoe

    Nice
    Something else that mastercard can't buy then, clever words!

  • Comment number 58.

    writingsonthewall wrote:

    and wrote:
    and wrote:
    and wrote:

    Did anyone listen to the Today programme this morning? Some young IT revolutionary chap was on, being questioned about his involvement in the 'denial of Service' internet targetting of firms accussed of ganging up on wikileaks (such as Paypal).

    A few minutes after the interview had concluded, the interviewer (Evan Davies I think) was accused by a few people ringing in of being 'too soft' on the IT chap. One of the other presenters suggested that Evan had simply been asking the wrong questions, and should perhaps have asked the chap whether he'd got a girlfriend.

    Made me smile on my way into work, slaving away for my capitalist masters.

    The point about arguing your case is (exactly the same as the rioters today) is that if you go over the top, people forget what you've actually got to say, and just mark you down as a nutter.

  • Comment number 59.

  • Comment number 60.

    54. At 20:23pm on 9th Dec 2010, Remantled wrote:
    "In the past I think we have been impressed by politicians ability to avoid answering questions as a sign of intelligence. With this banker's inability to answer 'The bewitching Gloria Hunniford' questions I just think he didn't understand the questions."

    Muppet

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please retract that, it's insulting to muppets.

  • Comment number 61.

    #41. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "The police have started charging with their horses. Oppression has officially begun."


    Definitely. Why else would that BBC reporter wear that hat.
    And they dragged Santa away.

    He was posing like Daniel Berriga too! But still, off he was dragged. Like Daniel Berrigan despite not using homemade napalm for the burning of papers.

  • Comment number 62.

    53. At 18:54pm on 9th Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    "As bonuses are progressively discouraged the tax-take can be adjusted accordingly ...... but when, and only when, the 1.2tn.gbp has been returned by the banks to the taxpayer."

    Thanks Geoff as you have made the point I was making in point #2. The banks have not received £1.2tn and so they do not need to pay it back. The pay back will be when the shares the govt bought are sold - hopefully at a profit if they do it right!!!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    @ 50. At 18:46pm on 9th Dec 2010, rbs_temp wrote:

    >
    > ... law and order ...
    >

    Quit your bleating, rbs_temp - it was greedy bankers who caused this mess in the first place, remember?

  • Comment number 64.

    @ 41. writingsonthewall wrote:

    > The police have started charging with their horses.

    It was amazing to see the coppers getting trampled thier own horses - it could only happen in England!

  • Comment number 65.

    58. At 21:14pm on 9th Dec 2010, blacksheep44 wrote:

    > if you go over the top, people forget what you've actually got to say, and
    > just mark you down as a nutter.

    Yes - that's exactly what happened to the bankers. They went way over the top, and then collapsed in the heap right in front of us! Bonkers, the lot of them.

    All things in moderation, I say. Especially bonuses.

  • Comment number 66.

    @ 62. At 21:22pm on 9th Dec 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    > The pay back will be when the shares the govt bought are sold

    That's just the start, chum, because then they have to work off the full cost of the depression they caused.

  • Comment number 67.

    At 18:45pm on 9th Dec 2010, DevilsAdvocate wrote:
    43. At 16:46pm on 9th Dec 2010, get up stand up wrote:
    outside "the mother of parliaments" (think they missed a word out there!) supporting the students and it's kicking off big style... smoke bombs, flares, missiles, sticks, metal barriers, a pool ball just whizzed past my ear

    the English are finally finding they have a flare for direct action...

    ==================

    Maybe you are very young, the English 'Left' has always had this desire to scupper any Government but its own, Scargill, Poll Tax riots.

    ==================

    Couldn't "kettle" me or my crew. Things they are a'changin you ol' devil

    Even Big Ears and Horse face sensed fear today. Like the millions of down-trodden poor desperately trying to survive do everyday

    Young, yes, but old enough to sniff out utter hypocrisy, lying, cheating, thieving deceit. And then try to do something about it. And you?

    Left or Right, that's so old-fashioned. I'm a neoliberal anarchist

  • Comment number 68.

    60. At 21:16pm on 9th Dec 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    54. At 20:23pm on 9th Dec 2010, Remantled wrote:
    ""In the past I think we have been impressed by politicians ability to avoid answering questions as a sign of intelligence. With this banker's inability to answer 'The bewitching Gloria Hunniford' questions I just think he didn't understand the questions."

    Muppet

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please retract that, it's insulting to muppets."

    Retracted

    I meant to say; short term sighted, in-it-for-myself, don't care about the rest of you-idiot

    It's time to play the music
    It's time to light the lights
    It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.

    Retracted.

    67. At 21:38pm on 9th Dec 2010, get up stand up wrote:
    "Couldn't "kettle" me or my crew. Things they are a'changin...

    Even Big Ears and Horse face sensed fear today. Like the millions of down-trodden poor desperately trying to survive do everyday"

    Keep up the good work

  • Comment number 69.

    #67. get up stand up wrote: "I'm a neoliberal anarchist"

    In a spirit of enquiry: I wonder what that actually means?

    Neoliberals (aka neocons) are close to the far right of the Tory party - the libertarian wing and are about enshrining and worshipping selfish greed if they have any discernible overriding philosophy.

    Anarchists traditionally refer to the like of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who apocryphally stormed the post office at Bologna all by himself as nobody else came.

    If by neoliberal anarchist you really mean a libertarian anarchist I am afraid you may consider yourself in some kind of vanguard of the new but in reality you are just a bourgeois reactionary harking back to some non existent past where you could just steal what you wanted without a thought for others or of society. Just like a Banker! In fact you seem to be precisely what you apparently despise. I do hope I am mistaken!

    Can you not find it in your philosophy to stand up and fight for others less fortunate? It is all very well espousing the dictatorship of the proletariat, or some such, but you need to know 'why' you are doing this and what aim that you are working towards. (Have a read of the papers of the First International they rehearse these arguments amongst others.)

    Unless you have a wider social aim your passion will be exhausted and spent with very little effect - please consider employing your passion and energy for the benefit of others - and if not, why not?

  • Comment number 70.

    buying a bottle of wine the other day I was given 3% off the marked price for paying in cash rather than via debit card. Shop owner said they get charged 3% of the total amount by the banks for the priveledge of being able to process debit cards and shop owner just wanted to pass the saving onto the customers.

    So sheeple - if you really care about the bankers and their huge profits and huge bonuses, then dont pay for anything ever again using plastic as it is just pure profit to the banks. Now when I go shopping instead of being lazy and just getting my plastic out, I will visit the cash machine (outside the supermarket) and pay cash.

    If everyone did this the banks would soon feel the force of "sheeple power".
    Remember YOU CAN make a difference.

    (becuse they just skim profits off EVERY financial transaction you and I make - straight into their sticky pockets....)

  • Comment number 71.

    topical today - an interseting link to more students protesting.
    I love the picture at 5:05 minutes in with the riot police armed with batons going after peacfully protesting budhist monks....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICecxOfmFtU&feature=related

    'Through counter-intelligence it should be possible to
    pinpoint potential trouble-makers...And neutralize them....

  • Comment number 72.

    in support of the students against our lying politicians :-

    new anti X-factor "make this christmas number one" campaign to follow up on the Rage Against the Machine victory from last year :-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQFwxw57NBI

    CapatainSKA and Liar, Liar.

  • Comment number 73.

    re #6
    Hi WotW!
    Yes, I'll support the (good) bankers. The problem for the good customers of the good bankers is, that if they are big enough, the cost of credit liquidity is being made more expensive and more difficult to obtain. The bad customers will still default. And the small bad bankers will carry on as before.

    Good move?

  • Comment number 74.

    69. At 22:33pm on 9th Dec 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:
    #67. get up stand up wrote: "I'm a neoliberal anarchist"

    In a spirit of enquiry: I wonder what that actually means?

    Neoliberals (aka neocons)
    ===================
    Only in your peculiar world

  • Comment number 75.

    65. At 21:34pm on 9th Dec 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:
    58. At 21:14pm on 9th Dec 2010, blacksheep44 wrote:

    > if you go over the top, people forget what you've actually got to say, and
    > just mark you down as a nutter.

    Yes - that's exactly what happened to the bankers. They went way over the top, and then collapsed in the heap right in front of us! Bonkers, the lot of them.

    All things in moderation, I say. Especially bonuses
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wot! No lynchings?

    Faker Jacques, you are slipping ...

  • Comment number 76.

    63. At 21:27pm on 9th Dec 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:
    @ 50. At 18:46pm on 9th Dec 2010, rbs_temp wrote:

    >
    > ... law and order ...
    >

    Quit your bleating, rbs_temp - it was greedy bankers who caused this mess in the first place, remember?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oh no it wasn't!

    Faker Jacques: appearing in pantomime again.

  • Comment number 77.

    Irish govt is bringing in a 90% tax on bank bonuses (the opposition want it at 99%!)

    from RTE today -

    " Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has announced his intention of bringing in a 90% tax on any future bank bonuses. But he said this would not affect the €40m being paid to AIB staff, as that relates to work done before 2009.

    He said legislation brought in on foot of the bank guarantee already prohibits the payment of any performance bonuses to senior bank executives. No bonuses have been paid to bankers for 2009 or for this year, he said."

  • Comment number 78.

    A round of applause for todays hard working / late working moderator..... hip hip....

  • Comment number 79.

    re #51
    Good post - well found.

    Hope Faker Jacques reads it.

  • Comment number 80.

    HSBC are all ready taking steps to reduce any UK tax by moving there head offices to Hong Kong that move will mean there top officers will avoid UK pay limits

    HSBC said it was logical move to have there head office in Hong Kong were the bank was founded

    And all Banks will find ways round to paying the minimum amount of tax wether it is declering most of there profits in there overseas opperations were they get a better tax brake

  • Comment number 81.

    Market imbalance. People borrowed too much either here or in America. Couldn't repay it. Public repay it. Government's borrowed too much. Have to repay it, public to the rescue again. People hurt. Unfair. Such is life. But will any of us choose a bank based on it's fair practices or it's interest rates?

    Market imbalance. Too many students/graduates for our economy. Need to reduce number of students. Answer increase tax to dissuade them apart from the fact that the students we need to dissuade are those unlikely to earn more than £21,000 and they won't repay a thing. So future graduates will be either from a rich background or a poor background and not inbetween. Squeezing the middle. Every right to protest, no right to riot. Stinks.

    Honesty - some degrees are rubbish and should not be available. Some students are relatively unintelligent and should not be studying at degree level.

  • Comment number 82.

    So, the institution will pay a 0.05% levy
    They charge me 1% p.a. on my pension

    No wonder thay can pay bonuses...

  • Comment number 83.

    The notion of taxing the banks in this way is a good one. Better though to tax bonusses and LTIP since it is those that got most UK banks into this problem in the first place. In addition place ceiling on pension earnings for all including MPs of no more than 20 times the salary of the lowest paid full time employee.

    It must not be forgotten that the Banks are run by people who have and are found wanting - who in many instances lack ability and in all case disregard the shareholders long term interests. This latter point affects everyone with a pension.

  • Comment number 84.

    #67. get up stand up wrote: "I'm a neoliberal anarchist"

    In a spirit of enquiry: I wonder what that actually means?

    Neoliberals (aka neocons) are close to the far right of the Tory party - the libertarian wing and are about enshrining and worshipping selfish greed if they have any discernible overriding philosophy.

    Anarchists traditionally refer to the like of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who apocryphally stormed the post office at Bologna all by himself as nobody else came.

    ====================

    Actually Neoliberalism and anarchists are surprisingly close, and neoliberalism has very little to do with the right wing (hang em and flog em brigade) of tory party.

    Neoliberalism is a belief in small govt and in particular taking unnecessary govt rules out of business. A neo liberal would not have bailed out the banks but let them fail. Neo liberals accept that there have to be some rules but nothing like the number of rules we have now

    Anarchism is of course a believe that there should be no rules at all.

    So not that dis-similar at all.

    Mind you after watching last nights One Show (sad I know) and the Elf&Safety officer trying to defend a ban on doormats as a fire risk in multi-occupancy properties and pictures on the walls (I wonder if they will next ban people in multi-occupancy properties who might collapse in communal areas thereby posing a fire risk to other occupants) I am rapidly coming to the conlusion that Neo-liberals have a valid point

  • Comment number 85.

    Will the govt offer me a similar rate on my car insurance. I've got +10 years ncb with is much better than the UK banks.

    Shouldn't the BoE be making loans to me rather than the Banks. I'm much better run. I wasn't fooled by the house price bubble. I've never needed rescuing from bankruptcy and I'm asset and cash positive even if property prices collapse by 50%.

    In fact the only risk I couldn't cover is a melt down of the UK state and anarchy. Still, even then I'd still be here, the banks wouldn't survive.

    Do I need to make it plain. When national banks can't make a loan backed by assest with 3x the value, to a citizen like me, they're in serious trouble.

    If one agrees that public services can be considered services purchased and consumed by the public, then the bank bailout was a transfer of the majority of the banks losses from them to the consumer of public services.

    The separation between the private and public economy is an accounting nicety, the pragmatic reality is consumer/workers have to pay off the public debt in proportion to their earnings.

    I think we'd all agree public services are being cut enough, there is no more money in the pot for another bank bailout.

    GB was a fool when he saved them and he still is a fool. Nationalise retail and let them go. It was a lie that they couldn't be separated. Hire me i'd have done it.

  • Comment number 86.

    "Like the millions of down-trodden poor desperately trying to survive do everyday "

    Is that the obese ones that can afford to smoke and drink? I would wager that they are 'surviving' very nicely. People 'desperately trying to survive' in other regions tend to be skinnier than the 'desperate' people in our society. Must be the weather or something.

  • Comment number 87.

    @16. yam yzf wrote:

    "So let's give everyone £1m at Christmas and see what happens next :-) "

    You mean (gasp!) treat everyone like bankers?

    But oughtn't people to have *earned* their million first? Wait, hang on a minute...

  • Comment number 88.

    @5. Chris wrote:

    "I called it theft to a Barrister friend. He was not happy in a legal sense, but entirely agreed with me morally."

    Your barrister friend is right (in both respects IMO). Under the judgment made in Foley v. Hill and Others in 1848 money deposited with a bank instantly thereupon becomes (regardless of whether the depositor so intends or not) a loan made by the depositor to the bank and, as such, the property of the bank not the depositor. The bank's liability is to repay any or all of the sum deposited at any time on demand. So a bank's taking your money and loaning it to someone else whilst continuing to owe all of it to you is not theft under English and Scottish law.

    Under the banking laws which had prevailed since antiquity in many different societies, it was held as a fundamental principle of law that the same sum of money could not be the property of two people (the depositor and somebody else to whom the banker had covertly loaned it) at the same time, and that a deposit-taker must therefore at all times have in his possession the necessary funds to repay all deposits. Loans must only be made out of the banker's own capital not out of deposits. The practice of lending-out depositors' money without their knowledge or consent was strictly forbidden and could in some societies be punishable with death.

    Nevertheless it always went on - because it was so profitable and thus represented an irresistible temptation for many bankers. They protected themselves behind a veil of secrecy but of course if there was a run on a bank they were found out.

    Nowadays central banks have evolved into organisers and orchestrators of the banking cartels in their respective countries, by means of which all banks are protected against bank runs by being enabled to pool their liquidity and expand and contract credit in unison. The whole edifice rests on the legalised misappropriation of depositors' money. The taxpayer (you and me, fellow-sucker) is the ultimate guarantor and the bonus-earning bankers are protected against most or all the consequences of their own misjudgments.

    If you disapprove of this you ought to think about supporting this campaign:-
    http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/

  • Comment number 89.

    76. At 23:01pm on 9th Dec 2010, Up2snuff wrote:

    > Oh no it wasn't!

    Sure. Have it your way, Up2snuff!

    The crash had nothing to do with Northern Rock, Lloyds TSB , HBOS , Royal Bank of Scotland Group , Bear Stearns, Catholic Building Society, Countrywide Financial, Alliance & Leicester, Roskilde Bank, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Derbyshire Building Society, Cheshire Building Society, Merrill Lynch, American International Group, Lehman Brothers, , HBOS, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, Bradford & Bingley, Fortis, Dexia, Wachovia, Charlotte, Landsbanki, Glitnir, Kaupthing Bank, BankWest , Sovereign Bank, Barnsley Building Society, National City Bank, Commerce Bancorp, Scarborough Building Society, IndyMac Federal Bank, Anglo Irish Bank, BTA Bank, Alliance Bank, Bank of Antigua, Straumur Investment Bank, Dunfermline Building Society, Caja de Ahorros Castilla La Mancha, Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company, Chesham Building Society ... ad infinitum ...

  • Comment number 90.

    89. At 10:15am on 10th Dec 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:

    A list of lots og banks and building societies.

    Hmmm, most of these were not hybrids but singulars ie just retail or investment.

    Perhaps splitting the hybrids is not such a great idea after all

  • Comment number 91.

    re #89
    I know I have only two brain cells, compared to kevinb's three, AndyC555's five (or five hundred and fifty-five) and that we are all inferior to your massive intellect but at least we know the difference between building societies, banking groups, investment or commercial banks, merchant banks and insurance companies .....

  • Comment number 92.

    @ 91. At 19:14pm on 10th Dec 2010, Up2snuff wrote:

    > I know I have only two brain cells, compared to kevinb's three,
    > AndyC555's five (or five hundred and fifty-five) and that we are
    > all inferior to your massive intellect

    Good. That's all right then. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Comment number 93.

    90. At 11:24am on 10th Dec 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    > Perhaps splitting the hybrids is not such a great idea after all

    I said break them up, not split them up. They must be so small, we don't give a hoot about them and they must never again be a threat to the people of Britain.

  • Comment number 94.

    "It is still being charged largely on banks' short-term wholesale finance, ...uninsured retail deposits (so deposits greater than £50,000)."

    This is unclear. Do they get charged on the amount of the deposit over the £50,000 which is covered by FSCS, or on the whole £50,001 deposited?

  • Comment number 95.

    Which is course is great to punitively tax HSBC & Barclays who didn't need Govt help, and Lloyds who only needed help for the HBoS side of things and would have been fine if Gord hadn't asked them to save HBoS.
    It was RBoS & HBoS who needed saving, so why not apply the Bank Levy just on Scotland?

  • Comment number 96.

    Re # 5. A barrister with morals...............................................................wow.

 

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