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Canada wins key fight against bank tax

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Bill Curry
Globe & Mail
June 7, 2010

Canada has won a key fight in its high-profile international campaign against a global bank tax as G20 finance ministers Saturday approved a plan that allows countries to manage the issue as they see fit.

Proponents of such a tax ­ including the United States and Europe ­ are free to go it alone, but the new plan allows the rest of the G20 to avoid the controversial idea and find other ways to reduce banking risks.

“The majority of the countries in the G20 do not support an ex ante bank tax, that is clear,” Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said at a news conference following a two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers.

“At the end of the day, different countries will chose different ways of reaching the goal [that banks should pay for government interventions] but there is no agreement to proceed with an ex ante bank tax,” he said.

In their final communiqué, G20 finance ministers and central bankers said the financial sector must make a “fair and substantial” contribution to paying for any of the burdens associated with government intervention.

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This article was posted: Monday, June 7, 2010 at 3:27 am

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