On May 22, 2012, the Lower House passed the Bank Tax Act. The principle objective of the tax is to put a price tag on the implicit guarantee given by the government to provide assistance, if necessary, to banks in financial problems, in order to ensure financial stability. It is an addition to other measures aimed at improving the financial system and managing bank risks.
The bank tax is a new national tax levied on the total of the liabilities less the qualifying capital, the debts falling under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, and the efficiency exemption. It has been proposed to apply a split tax rate, whereby the rate for short-term debt would be higher than that for long-term debt. If the variable remuneration received by at least one bank director exceeds 100% of the fixed remuneration of this director, i.e. an excessive bonus, then a penalty will be imposed by applying a coefficient to the rates. We refer to information previously published on our webpage.
During the vote in the Lower House, three amendments proposed by parliamentary members were passed:
1) the bank tax rates for short and long-term debt were increased: from 0.022% to 0.044% for short-term debt, and from 0.011% to 0.022% for long-term debt. The expected revenue from the bank tax will thereby be increased from EUR 300 million to EUR 600 million;
2) the coefficient to be applied to the tax rates for excessive bonuses was increased from 1.05 to 1.10;
3) the threshold for excessive bonuses was reduced from 100% to 25%, to apply two years after the effective date of the bank tax.