International bank levy ‘more likely than before’, UK chancellor claims

31 March 2010

An international levy to fund the cost of bank bailouts is more likely to be introduced now than it was six months ago, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer has claimed.

Alistair Darling made the comments while speaking to the Commons Treasury Committee in London.

He explained that a global bill needs to be implemented, otherwise bankers and financial institutions will move location to avoid being forced to pay.

The politician was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying: “I'm more optimistic now that we can get an international levy or tax than I was six months ago.”

He added: “You would have to have the US and ourselves on board [for a agreement to be made]. Our financial centres are by far the biggest in the world."

The chancellor’s comment are at odds with the views of the Conservative Party, which claimed it would introduce a levy on bankers regardless of whether global backing was available.

Conservative leader David Cameron recently announced that the party would introduce a US-style tax on banks operating in the UK if they were to win the forthcoming general election.

By Jim Ottewill

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