Financial Transaction Tax in Europe (EU FTT)

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1 (EU FTT) Summary The European Parliament has recently approved the proposal of 11 European Union (EU) member states (Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) to introduce a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). The deal reached by these 11 participating member states (Supporting Member States) was agreed in October Having obtained the European Parliament s consent, the European Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) must now muster a qualified majority vote to allow the European Commission to initiate enhanced cooperation in order to turn the FTT plans into reality. Latest news 22 January 2013 An ECOFIN meeting adopted a decision authorising the 11 requesting member states to proceed with the introduction of an FTT through an enhanced cooperation procedure 1. The European Commission (EC) will now make a proposal to precisely define the nature of the enhanced cooperation that has to be unanimously adopted by the 11 requesting member states. 14 February 2013 The EC released draft text for a proposed FTT directive. If the text is implemented into law an FTT will be payable to the tax authorities in the 11 Supporting Member States and any other EU member state that chooses, in due course, to participate. 1. In the EU, enhanced cooperation refers to a procedure whereby a minimum of nine EU member states may together establish advanced integration or cooperation in an area within EU structures without other member states being involved. Clearstream Banking Luxembourg March 2013 Financial Transaction Tax in Europe Document number: 6740 / Page 1 of 8

2 EU Member State positions with regard to the EU FTT Note: In the following table, markets marked with an asterisk (*) character are EU FTT Supporting Member States that have signed the enhanced cooperation agreement. * Austria * Belgium Bulgaria Bulgaria is opposed to an EU FTT. Cyprus Cyprus has been reported to be less positive about an FTT. Czech Republic The Czech Republic will not introduce an FTT. The Czech Republic does not plan to introduce an FTT. The EC approved the introduction of a 0.1% tax on securities trading and the 0.01% tax on derivatives effective from January The reason for this tax is that banks should also bear their part of the costs of the financial crisis. The EC expects that the new FTT will generate tens of billions of Euros per year for the budgets. The Czech National Bank (CNB) rejects plans to introduce an FTT, stressing the negative impact on the EU financial sector. CNB also points out that, even according to EU studies, an FTT can negatively affect gross domestic product or reduce the volume of certain financial transactions. Moreover, the experience of some countries that in the past introduced an FTT (for example, Sweden) are also negative. FTT will mostly impact the end clients. Moreover, CNB claims that timing is also an issue. The financial sector in Europe is awaiting new regulatory measures that will require capital increases, so more financial funds should stay in the sector. Proposing to draw funds into and drain funds out of the sector at the same time seems illogical and will expose financial institutions to the danger of not meeting all new regulatory and capital requirements. The Czech government also declined an FTT. On the other hand, the left-wing Senate recommended to the government to reconsider joining the Supporting Member States whose decision the Czech government respects but asks for assurances that an FTT will have no impact on non-participating countries and their EU-based banks. Source: Czech National Bank, Czech Ministry of Finance, Czech News Agency. March 2013 Page 2 of 8 / Document number: 6740 Clearstream Banking Luxembourg Financial Transaction Tax in Europe (EU FTT)

3 Denmark Denmark opposes an FTT if applied only in the EU. At the meeting of EU Finance Ministers in June 2012, Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), the Danish Economy Minister, did not endorse the idea of an FTT across the EU. The government's position on a charge on financial transactions is well known and unchanged. Vestager told Politiken on 3 October 2012: We will not be participating in a strengthened cooperation with a financial transaction tax.. Vestager has argued that an FTT is pointless unless implemented globally. Otherwise, she contends, financial markets will simply move to where it is cheapest to trade. * Estonia There is no clear communication from the state regarding when, how and if at all, the FTT will be introduced. Finland Finland was originally among the nine EU member states pushing for an EU FTT but was not among the states that requested participation in enhanced cooperation. The governing parties of Finland are divided over whether to join the EU FTT. * France The French FTT was implemented on 1 August 2012 and is in force. In late 2011, the French National Assembly passed a Tobin tax amendment, which was overturned by the French Senate in March On 1 August 2012, newly elected French president François Hollande introduced a unilateral French FTT. * Germany On 10 December 2009, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel revised her position and now supports an EU FTT. An EU FTT has been discussed in parliament but is so far on hold. * Greece On 11 January 2013, the Greek Parliament voted a new tax bill into law imposing 20% capital gains tax on gains derived from the sale of listed shares purchased on/after 1 July The 0.2% tax applicable on sale transactions is maintained, even after the introduction of the capital gains tax. It is expected that the Greek Ministry of Finance will issue a Circular providing further details of the capital gains tax implementation. Hungary Hungary is supportive of an FTT. Clearstream Banking Luxembourg March 2013 Financial Transaction Tax in Europe Document number: 6740 / Page 3 of 8

4 Ireland Ireland is in favour of an EU FTT, but not of a Eurozone FTT. Irish Minister of Finance Michael Noonan has stated that Ireland will not join an EU FTT unless the UK does. * Italy On 24 December 2012, the Italian government approved the Financial Stability Law for 2013 that contained provisions for the introduction of an Italian FTT (IFTT) and delegated to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to issue an Implementation Decree to define the application rules of the tax. A draft of the Decree was published for consultation on 1 February 2013 and all interested parties could submit their comments by 4 February As expected, the consultation was well received by market participants, who sent their comments to the MEF through the main associations, such as the Italian Banking Association (ABI), the Italian Brokers Association (Assosim), the Italian Association of Asset Managers (Assogestioni) and the Association for Financial s in Europe (AFME). Following the consultation phase, the MEF finalised the Decree, which was approved and published on 22 February Confirmed implementation date: 1 March 2013 for cash equity contracts. 1 July 2013 for equity derivatives contracts. FTT concerned instruments: Shares and participating financial instruments issued by Italian resident companies; Instruments representing the above (for example, ADRs); Derivatives, securitised or not, whether settled against cash or physical securities, whose underlying component is shares or value of Italian shares, including options, warrants, covered warrants, certificates. Physical transfer of taxable underlying components is also taxed separately. FTT due date: By the 16th calendar day of the month following execution of the transaction. First payment date is due 16 July FTT rate: Regulated or on Multilateral Exchange system 0.1% (0.12% in 2013); OTC 0.2% (0.22% in 2013); High-Frequency Negotiations 0.02% (orders automatically submitted, amended or cancelled by software within less than 0.5 seconds). CBL impact description: YES Remarks: The liable party is the investor (net buyer) for cash equity and both parties of the derivatives contract. The tax must be paid by an intermediary intervening in the contract. If there are more parties in the chain, the tax must be paid by the one who has received the purchase order. Payment is due on the 16th calendar day following the month of the trade. Latvia The official Latvian opinion is being prepared. The Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia, together with the Stock Exchange, will sum up arguments and opinions. It is not known when the official opinion will be published. March 2013 Page 4 of 8 / Document number: 6740 Clearstream Banking Luxembourg Financial Transaction Tax in Europe (EU FTT)

5 Lithuania Lithuania originally did not plan on participating in an EU FTT enhanced cooperation. However, after a parliamentary election in October 2012, new Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius announced that Lithuania would join an EU FTT by January However there is no official information provided further to the previous statements made by the new government. Luxembourg In December 2011, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker backed an EU FTT, saying Europe cannot refrain from the justice that needs to be delivered out of consideration for London s financial industry. However, on 13 March 2012 the government officially opposed an EU FTT. Malta Malta opposes an FTT. The introduction of a blanket transaction tax by Europe would jeopardise the island s competitiveness in the financial services sector. Netherlands In October 2011, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said his cabinet supports an FTT but opposes its introduction in only a few countries. Nevertheless, the country blocked the introduction of an EU FTT in March In October 2012, the new coalition government said it will adopt the proposed EU FTT provided it is not imposed on pension funds. During the ECOFIN meeting on 13 December 2012, the Netherlands confirmed that it is in principal prepared to join an EU FTT but will await the new commission proposal. Poland The Polish government is considering the possibility of taxation on financial transactions but no decision has been made between EU FTT participation or a separate project. Clearstream Banking Luxembourg March 2013 Financial Transaction Tax in Europe Document number: 6740 / Page 5 of 8

6 * Portugal Expected implementation date: Confirmed implementation date: No date yet. FTT concerned instruments: Share capital participations; Bonds; Money market instruments; Participation units; Derivative and structured financial products. FTT rate: Up to 0.3% general transactions; Up to 0.1% High-Frequency transactions (orders automatically submitted, amended or cancelled by software within less than 0.5 seconds); Up to 0.3% transactions involving derivatives. CBL impact description: YES Remarks: Budget Law ratified by the Portuguese President includes a legislative authorisation that allows the Portuguese Government to introduce an FTT via the inclusion of financial transactions under the scope of Portuguese Stamp Tax. However, this measure is not yet in force, although the Budget Law provides a legislative authorisation to enact such inclusion. Romania On 4 December 2012, the Romanian government approved a Memorandum regarding Romania s position with respect to the Economic and Monetary Union consolidation s measures, according to which Romania will agree to the introduction of an FTT if it is based on a an agreement established at the EU level. However, during the ECOFIN Council meeting held in January 2013, Romania s representative stated that Romania does not intend to introduce an FTT but will not oppose the intention of other EU countries to adopt and support this measure. * Slovakia * Slovenia * Spain Expected implementation date: Confirmed implementation date: No date yet. Latest news received: Still ongoing discussions at the level of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance, but no information has been made public yet. In September 2012, the Ministry of Economy and Finance proposed to the Spanish Parliament the launch of an FTT (similar to the French FTT). The initial target date for implementation was 1 January 2013 but the proposal was rejected by the financial community, mainly due to the short notice. The FTT has not in fact been included in the State Budget Law for March 2013 Page 6 of 8 / Document number: 6740 Clearstream Banking Luxembourg Financial Transaction Tax in Europe (EU FTT)

7 Sweden Sweden opposes an FTT if applied only in the EU. United Kingdom The UK government supports an FTT only if implemented worldwide. In 2009, Adair Turner (chair) and Hector Sants (CEO) of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) both supported the idea of new global taxes on financial transactions. On the other hand, the Bank of England strongly opposes an FTT. On 26 January 2010, the governor of the FSA Mervyn King dismissed the idea of a Tobin tax, saying: Of all the components of radical reform, I think a Tobin tax is bottom of the list... It is not thought to be the answer to the Too Big to Fail problem - there is much more support for the idea of a U.S.-type levy.. Clearstream Banking Luxembourg March 2013 Financial Transaction Tax in Europe Document number: 6740 / Page 7 of 8

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