Greens call for EU Bank Reform

LambertJeanMEP250Green Party Euro-MP Jean Lambert has hit out at Chancellor George Osborne after he announced plans bypass EU rules designed to criminalise rogue bankers in last Thursday’s annual speech to banking industry chiefs at Mansion House.

Ms Lambert, said we need reforms – but they should be decided at EU level so they encompass banks working in Frankfurt, London, and financial centres across the EU.

She said: “By attempting to introduce reforms to the British banking sector while ruling out any of the common EU reforms designed to tackle the very same problems of fraud and excess, Osborne is sending a clear message to the EU: ‘keep out of the way the UK financial sector does its business’.

This is likely to be disastrous – the financial woes suffered by much of the world were caused as much by a piecemeal approach to banking regulation as they were by the excesses of the industry.

The fact remains that the financial sector is as powerful – and fleet of foot – as most Governments. If we don’t join up regulations across borders, it will always seek to do its business in the most favourable jurisdiction, and that can only be bad for consumers.

It’s also at odds with the views of most people. The Greens have worked hard to shape EU banking regulations: pushing for a Financial Transaction Tax, for example, and a cap on bankers’ bonuses – and these are the reforms most people want to see.”

Green success as Lancashire backs Robin Hood tax

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Lancashire County Council has become the 50th local authority to agree to lobby Government to sign up to the Financial Transaction Tax. The motion was proposed at the County’s Full Council meeting on 15th May by Gina Dowding, Lancashire’s Green County Councillor representing Lancaster Central and also a European elections candidate.

Lancaster City Council was one of the first to pass such a motion in 2012, and Preston Council recently followed suit.

The Robin Hood Tax – or Financial Transaction Tax is a tax on all financial exchanges, including shares, bonds and derivatives. Even at the rate of 0.05%, the tax could raise up to £250bn per year globally and up to £20bn per year nationally.

County Councillor Gina Dowding said “The money raised could be used to provide the vital council funding for services that are being decimated by government cuts.

“A Robin Hood Tax would ensure that the number of high risk financial transactions, the gambling which helped to trigger the financial crisis, would be curtailed. By curbing some of the worst financial sector excesses, a Robin Hood tax would help to rebalance the economy.

“We are sending a clear message to the government that we want a finance system that works for the common good, not the vested interests of the few”

Peter Cranie who is the Green Party’s lead North West European candidate said:
“The Green group in the European Parliament has been instrumental in pushing for a FTT. Eleven Member States including Germany, France, Italy and Spain have decided it is crucial to put people before the profits of their big banks and financial speculators and introduce an FTT. The UK government on the other hand has continued to block the tax in order to promote business as usual in the City of London”

Greens! call for Robin Hood Tax

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The Green Party is supporting a campaign to get councils to pass a motion of support for the Robin Hood Tax.

The Robin Hood Tax – or Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) is a tiny tax of about 0.05% on transactions made by banks, hedge funds and the financial sector. The tax could raise £250 billion a year globally, with some of the money being used to support council services that have been decimated by government cuts. Another advantage of an FTT is that it helps reduce the number of risky financial transactions, the gambling which helped to trigger the financial crisis.

The Green Party is urging people to take an easy action by writing to their local councillors asking them to pass a motion supporting the FTT, almost 40 councils have already passed such a motion. 

Professor Molly Scott Cato, who is the Green Party’s finance spokesperson and a leading European candidate said: “The Green group in the European Parliament has been instrumental in pushing for a FTT.

Eleven Member States including Germany, France, Italy and Spain have decided to put people before the profits of their big banks and financial speculators and Introduce a Financial Transaction Tax.

The UK Government on the other hand has continued to block the Financial Transaction Tax in order to protect their Friends in the City.”

Dr Scott Cato  concluded: “I will be proposing a motion of support for an FTT in February. I want our council and other councils across the South West and beyond to send a clear message to the government that Robin Hood wants finance to work for the common good, not the vested interests of the few!”

Further information on the Financial Transaction Tax from the Robin Hood campaign: