• Sweden's news in English

Borg seeks US-inspired European bank tax

AFP/The Local · 19 Jan 2010, 11:04

Published: 19 Jan 2010 11:04 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Borg arrived at Brussels talks with European Union peers seeking to impose a bloc-wide levy he says will "pay for the impact the rescue measures have had on our public finances."

Slamming a Greek debt mountain and economic misreporting as "fraudulent" and "a cost for the whole of Europe," Borg insisted that the EU can no longer "accept the situation where the banks are running away from the bill."

"This is something that has been introduced in the United States, and we already have a similar system in Sweden.

"This is a tax, a fee that could bring substantial revenues for dealing with the public finance situation but also to take care of future banking crises."

Borg said that a tax on final balance sheets -- different from a tax on individual transactions as mooted since the 1970s -- would get round the problem of banks moving to more favourable locations.

"You can't move your balance sheet out of the country so it's a much more logical model," he insisted, claiming "support among several of my colleagues for this idea."

In a letter to fellow ministers, Borg said "the financial system should pay for the actual cost it incurs on society" in a move he said would legitimize bailout action among public opinion.

He said the Swedish model, introduced in 2009, comes in at 0.036 percent of final balance sheets, and is already equal to 1.0 percent of Swedish gross domestic product, with a target value of 2.5 percent of GDP in 15 years.

"The advantages are obvious," he insisted compared to a transaction or turnover tax. "Smaller liabilities are encouraged as they incur a lower actual fee."

Story continues below…

Britain's Chancellor Alistair Darling told The Scotsman newspaper at the weekend that London would not match President Barack Obama's plans to recover "every single dime" taxpayers shelled out to rescue Wall Street.

The head of the 16-country eurozone, Jean-Claude Juncker, has also warned that it would be "difficult to adopt a common approach because tax matters are reserved for national decision-making" across the EU.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:42 January 19, 2010 by Nemesis
We have enough problems in Europe.

We do not need more banking problems.

In Europe we need laws that make a bank invest only what it can reflect in its assets and to be more stringent in checkking its own investments.

Regarding bail outs. Banks and all there employees shoudl be made to pay those back as soon as they are financially stable again, without exception.
12:01 January 19, 2010 by geronimoIII
Be real careful using anything...US inspired...these days. Particularily when it comes to banking or military adventures.
13:18 January 19, 2010 by calebian22

Because nothing good ever comes out of America, right? If it is a good idea, and it reigns in some of the reckless banking policies, found around the world, even in Sweden, only a fool would disregard it. Borg is cherry picking a good idea from the trough of rotten ones that represent the bailout in the US. Good for him and good for Sweden.
10:24 January 20, 2010 by Weekend_warrior
I believe the premium the banks pay to have depositors money insured (known as FDIC) in the US was also raised.

Now, if I were a bank US/EU does not matter, the first thing I would do with this Gov't tax is reduce the money I give depositors on their money. Perhaps I might even start charging a monthly maintenance fee (how about 40sek) for everyone with accounts less than 50,000sek in them.

That's just warming up, you want to restrict what I can and cannot invest in. Well if I am not making gobs of money, I see no reason to risk my business by lending any person with an idea money. I'll start tightening up credit lines, restricting loans, oh wait, that's kinda happening now? blah blah blah

I don't even care about this, my focal point is fixated on Greece.
12:37 January 20, 2010 by geronimoIII
calibian22...Sorry my friend...did not mean to offend. It is just my way of being ironic. Getting a bit cynical in my old age. However, I am very critical about the banking (Wall Street) and military adventures that seem to be bankrupting a once mighty nation. I could be wrong...but I know that I am not alone. You seem to be very touchy about any critism...and you are not alone either... btw is freedom of speech dead or has political correctness replaced that sacred right?
22:43 January 21, 2010 by Say what?
Borg seeks US-inspired European bank tax? Really? Why should he? It was him himself who advised the US government to use a system similar to the Swedish bank tax, because it minimizes market distortion and has proven to work. And they listened. And they acknowledged the fact. Whatever!
Today's headlines
Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available