The European Central Bank in Frankfurt warns that banks “must be real banks if they want to operate in the euro area”.
Photo: DXR/Creative Commons
Brexit banks warning, digital tax and EP on lead candidate--Delano's breakfast briefing 8 Feb
Banks Brexit warning, digital taxation and “Spitzenkandidaten”--the stories making the headlines this morning.
Brexit warning for banks from ECB official
“Banks must continue to prepare for any outcome, including a hard Brexit.” Sabine Lautenschlaeger of the European Central Bank was reported as saying in stories supplied by the Associated Press. The vice chair of the ECB’s banking supervisory board explained that only 12 banks are making definite plans to expand their business in the Eurozone ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union. She warned that time is getting short for others that may want to make the same move. “We cannot be sure whether the transitional period will really happen,” she said at a news conference in Frankfurt. And she had a further notification for banks thinking they could simply set up a shell company in the Eurozone. “Banks must be real banks if they want to operate in the euro area,” Lautenschlaeger said.
France pushes for digital taxation
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said he wanted the EU to adopt new rules on taxing digital companies next year. Reuters reports that Germany’s new coalition partners have also said they want a new Europe-wide corporate tax system to stamp out multinational tax avoidance. The EU is currently debating new tax rules on digital companies, which may include a tax on their turnover, a levy on online ads or a withholding tax on payments to internet firms says Reuters. “It’s not possible, not sustainable, that we tax manufacturing industries while billions in profits earned by GAFAs [Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon] on European soil evaporate,” Le Maire said.
European Parliament seeks to retain lead candidate process
The European Parliament says it is ready to reject any contender for EU Commission President who is not nominated as a “lead candidate” ahead of the 2019 EU elections. The so-called “Spitzenkandidaten” process was first used in the 2014 EP elections to select current Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who ran as the lead candidate of the European People's Party group, which includes Luxembourg’s CSV and Germany’s CDU and CSU parties, Ireland’s Fine Gael and France’s Les Républicains. MEPs on Wednesday. However, the parliament will also allow serving EU Commissioners to run for election to the European Parliament, and to be designated by political parties as “lead candidates” without first having to take an unpaid leave of absence.