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February 18, 2014updated 04 Apr 2017 2:30pm

Financial transaction tax may cost British savers £3.6 billion

The proposed European Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) may wipe up £3.6 billion off the value of equities and bonds in UK savings plans, according to a report from London Economics, a policy and economics consultancy.

By Verdict Staff

The proposed European Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) may wipe up £3.6 billion off the value of equities and bonds in UK savings plans, according to a report from London Economics, a policy and economics consultancy.

The report has calculated the likely impact of the FTT on the equity and debt savings held by six EU countries based on the usual trading turnover of pension funds.

Citing academic evidence, the report says that the impact would come from factoring in the levy into the price of stocks and bonds held by households.

"In countries that plan to introduce the tax for example, the impact is in the order of EUR80 billion in Spain to 205 billion in Italy, representing a loss of up to 16% of the value of the assets being taxed," the report said.

A financial transaction tax is a levy placed on a specific type of monetary transaction for a particular purpose. 11 out of 28 EU member states are in favour of introducing this new tax, which is claimed could raise as much as £28.6 billion (US$47.9bn,) a year.

The Telegraph quoted Mark Boleat, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources committee, saying that the tax showed the "negative impact that the FTT could have on economic prospects across Europe".

"It is not a ‘tax on markets’ but rather a tax borne by end users such as pension funds. The tax could also increase the cost of capital for businesses and sovereign governments. This proposal should be revisited by European policymakers," he added.

London Economics carried out the research on behalf of City of London Corporation.

Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden are opposing the proposal on ground that it would impede national sovereignty by forcing it to collect tax for other member states.

They also argue that the move would encourage banks and finance firms to relocate trading activities.

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