The surprise announcement by the Meloni government yesterday caused a black day on the Italian stock market, and the executive announced today that it will limit the extraordinary rate to 0.1% of assets, “in order to safeguard the stability of banking institutions “.
The Government of Italy announced on Monday that it will introduce a “social equity” measure that will tax extraordinary bank profits at 40%, limited to the years 2022 and 2023, which will not exceed 25% of net worth and whose collection will be it will go entirely to “support the purchase of mortgages and tax cuts.”
The rule will be activated if the interest margin registered in 2022 “exceeds the value of the 2021 financial year by at least 5%”, a percentage that will rise to 10% if 2023 is compared with the previous year, according to the Executive.
The announcement, in line with decisions such as that of the Spanish Government, caused a collapse in the Milan Stock Exchange, which lost 2.12% and 27.71 billion euros, of which a third, 8.96 billion, corresponded to the banking sector, according to calculations by the business daily il Sole 24 Ore.
The government led by the far-right Georgia Meloni has taken just over 24 hours to establish a maximum asset limit for the new tax. “The measure, in order to safeguard the stability of banking institutions, provides for a maximum limit for the contribution that cannot exceed 0.1% of total assets,” said the Ministry of Economy last night, which stressed that the new rate “follows the trail of existing regulations in Europe on extraordinary bank margins”.
The new tax, announced by surprise after the Council of Ministers on Monday, could amount to around 2.5 billion euros for the six largest Italian banks in the first half of 2023, according to il Sole 24 Ore.
The Italian Autonomous Banking Federation (FABI) limited itself to pointing out that “it is evaluating the impact on the sector and on individual banking groups” and that its secretary general, Lando Maria Sileoni, “as soon as everything is clearer, starting with the content of the decree, will make the position of the organization known”.
According to Italian media, there are fears above all for the smallest banks, for which a 40% tax on a part of the interest margins could be ruinous, while the impact will be less in the five largest entities (Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit , Banco Bpm, Mps, Bper), which in the first six months of this year recorded profits of more than 10.5 billion euros, well over double that of 2022.
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