EU Imposes Taxes on Financial Transactions.
EU finance ministers have given the go-ahead for a small group of 11 Eurozone members to pioneer a new tax on financial transactions to discourage speculative trading.
The tax, known as a Tobin tax, is expected to be charged at a rate of 0.1% of the value of any trade in shares or bonds, and 0.01% of any financial derivative contract.
Although the tax is not being adopted by the UK, which already charges its own 0.5% stamp duty on trading in shares, it will nonetheless have to be paid by investors trading on the London Stock Exchange who are based in one of the 11 countries.
The small group pioneering the tax includes France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Greece and Estonia.
The 16 Eurozone countries that chose not to participate include UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg and Cyprus, both of whom are significant offshore financial centers, as well as the Eurosceptic Czech Republic.
The UK and Sweden have warned that this tax makes little sense unless it is applied globally. In fact, investors are expected to move their trading activity to a different country in order to avoid paying it.
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