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British prime minister says global bank tax near

British prime minister says global bank tax near

Large economies are nearing agreement on a global bank tax, said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in an interview yesterday, but he played down expectations a deal could be struck as soon as June.
Britain, France and Germany were broadly agreed on the need for a levy that would cost financial institutions billions of pounds (U.S. dollars), Brown told the Financial Times newspaper, adding he hoped the U.S. would join them.
"Britain, France and Germany have talked about what we can do together," he said. "We are agreed on the need for a common basis."
But the prime minister sought to play down suggestions the levy, which he has been promoting for some time, could be agreed upon at the G20 summit in June in Toronto, according to the paper.
Canada is sceptical about the tax and Brown wants broad agreement on the move, it added.
Instead he said he wants a deal to be struck at the G20 summit in Seoul in November.
Just weeks from a general election in Britain - the poll is expected on May 6 and must be held by June 3 - Brown is still pressing hard to move the bank levy idea forward.
"The relationship between banks and society has to change," he said.
Some countries have already started to take action to protect their economies from the risks of future financial meltdown.
Germany last week approved a new tax on banks for a fund which could be used for bailouts in the event of another banking crisis.
U.S. President Barack Obama in January unveiled a plan to tax risky assets of big American financial institutions to recoup the cost of the huge bailout of the sector.


Updated : 2020-12-02 21:39 GMT+08:00