By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sumeet Desai
PARIS/LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – France singled out frontline financial traders for a special 50 percent tax on bonuses, following Britain by tapping into public anger over the pay deals of bankers whom many blame for the financial crisis.
Britain plans to tax bonuses for all bankers, whether merger and acquisition specialists, credit providers or trading room stars, while the French moves announced on Wednesday are restricted to those trading financial instruments.
Both countries’ measures will apply above certain thresholds, with the French measure for instance targeting bonuses above 27,500 euros ($40,060).
“This tax will encourage them (traders) to be disciplined and reasonable,” a French economy ministry official told reporters. Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said banks would be taxed on bonuses they distribute in 2010, adding the plan would be presented to parliament in January.
The French state provided billions of euros in financial support to banks such as BNP Paribas, SocGen, Credit Agricole and Natixis to help them weather the credit crisis.