Financial Regulatory Forum

Sweden proposes EU bank tax, gets cool response

By John O’Donnell

BRUSSELS, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Sweden’s finance minister called on European counterparts to follow U.S. President Barack Obama’s lead with a bank tax to recoup the cost of propping up the industry but the idea received a guarded response.

Obama proposed last week that Wall Street pay up to $117 billion via a special levy to reimburse taxpayers for the financial bailout, saying “fat cat” bankers were making massive profits and “obscene” bonuses.

“We cannot accept a situation where the bankers are running away from the bill,” Sweden’s Anders Borg said on Tuesday at a meeting of European Union finance ministers, outlining his ideas for a bank tax or levy based on that in the U.S. and Sweden.

However, while Germany, France and Britain all hailed Obama’s new levy last week, they said they would press on with their own ideas.

Earlier on Tuesday German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble signalled an approaching international agreement on measures for the banking sector to share the costs of bailouts. [ID:nLDE60I0E5]

EU president Sweden vows quick action on crisis

By Julien Troyer
STRASBOURG, France, July 15 (Reuters) – European Union president Sweden promised on Wednesday to secure quick agreement on moves to tighten financial regulations to combat the economic crisis and on steps to fight climate change. (more…)

Latvia seeks debt write-downs in home-loan restructure plan

   By Patrick Lannin and Sven Nordenstam
   RIGA/STOCKHOLM, July 8 (Reuters) – Latvia wants banks to write off 10 percent of the debt of people who enter a planned scheme to restructure problem loans, the prime minister said on Wednesday, but banks said volumes concerned would be small. (more…)

Sweden – don’t demonize hedge funds

    STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A minister for Sweden, which took over the EU presidency on Wednesday, said hedge funds and private equity firms needed regulation but should not be viewed as a primary cause of the global financial crisis.
   Speaking after a visit by the European Commission to Stockholm to mark the Nordic country’s start in the six-month presidency, Financial Markets Minister Mats Odell cautioned against “overzealous” regulation. (more…)