WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The Obama administration is considering imposing a fee on banks to help recover some of taxpayers’ costs of bailing banks out from the financial crisis, according to multiple reports on Monday.
The White House said President Barack Obama wants to ensure that taxpayers are paid in full. “That’s the president’s goal,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. He declined to provide details on how that might be done.
Politico, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, in nearly identical stories on their websites, cited administration officials saying that a bank fee was under consideration and might be included in the president’s budget proposal next month.
Such a fee, which would likely be highly popular with taxpayers still angry at bankers who are preparing to reap huge bonuses, could be part of next month’s budget. Exactly what form such a fee might take will be hotly discussed but it is unlikely to be a broad-based fee on transactions.
A fee on financial transactions was suggested by British officials at a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers last fall, but was opposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.