Britain's banks to pay balance sheet tax
Britain's banks will be hit with a balance sheet tax to raise more than £2 billion a year, the Chancellor announced today.
The bank levy will come into force next January and will help the sector play its part in shrinking the UK's deficit after being bailed out with taxpayer cash during the financial crisis.
George Osborne's plans will force banks to pay a tax based on their net worth - seen more as a tax on risk, rather than profits.
The tax comes as part of a joint move by the UK, France and Germany - with Britain's European counterparts also announcing levies on bank balance sheets today.
Similar plans are likewise currently going through the US Senate, although Mr Osborne said the UK would continue working with the G20 nations to develop a wider international bank levy on bank activities, such as profits.