The Taxation and Regulation of Banks

Author/Editor:

Michael Keen

Publication Date:

August 1, 2011

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

The financial crisis has prompted a reconsideration of the taxation of financial institutions, with practice outstripping principle: France, Germany, the United Kingdom and several other European countries have now introduced some form of bank tax, and the U.S. administration has revived its own proposal for such a charge. This paper considers the structure, appropriate rate, and revenue yield of corrective taxation of financial institutions addressed to two externalities, consequent on excessive risk-taking, prominent in the crisis: those that arise when such institutions are simply allowed to collapse, and those that arise when, to avoid the harm this would cause, their creditors are bailed out. It also asks whether corrective taxation or a regulatory capital requirement is the better way to address these concerns. The results suggest a potential role for taxing bank borrowing, perhaps as an adjunct to minimum capital requirements, at marginal rates that rise quite sharply at low capital ratios (but are likely lower when the government cannot commit to its bailout policy), reaching levels higher than those of the bank taxes so far adopted or proposed.

Series:

Working Paper No. 11/206

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

August 1, 2011

ISBN/ISSN:

9781463902179/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2011206

Format:

Paper

Pages:

38

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