SPAIN At a recent press conference called by Minister Cristóbal Montoro (Hacienda) announced that Spain is about to introduce a tax on savings accounts ranges from 0.1% to 0.2%. Montoro said that, unlike what is happening in Cyprus, the tax is to be paid by the banks, not the savings account holders, although soon after, the media reported that the banks have responded by sating that the tax would have to be passed on to the savers. In fact, a state tax on bank deposits was announced last December and has been in effect since January 1 but for the moment remains static at 0%, having been created not as a method of collection but to 'guarantee market unity' and to prevent regional authorities from creating their own tax, which was already happening in Andalucía, the Canaries and Extremadura.>>>
To clear up 'certain confusion in the media', Montoro said, "In the first place, there is no tax on bank deposits or savings accounts in Spain as is the case in Cyprus, nor will there ever be; and secondly, what is being introduced is a tax to compensate the three regions that had already implanted theirs." He also asked the media to 'normalize' debate on the subject and to desist from spreading alarm.
The amount with which each of the autonomous regions are to be compensated for the taxes they introduced before December 1, 2012 - Cataluña and Asturias established theirs later - is to be negotiated in committee with each one.
However, the financial services company N+1 has come up with the percentage of 0.03% if the tax announced by Montoro is to be only compensatory and not for tax collection. The amount the regions are losing thanks to the creation of the state tax is a little more than an annual €200 million. The company believes that it will have a 'lightly negative' impact for the banks and will tend towards bringing down improvements to their margins after a 'war of deposits' comes to an end.
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