Call for 'Robin Hood tax' on banking transactions

The clamour for a global tax on banking transactions gathered pace last night, as further evidence emerged of investment-bank returning to bumper profits.

A coalition of charities, unions and aid agencies have called on the UK's political parties to support a global "Robin Hood tax" on financial transactions that could raise up to £250bn every year to fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change.

It came as the Swiss banking giant UBS delivered its first quarterly profit since the financial crisis emerged and the Australian investment bank Macquarie said it was on track to deliver full-year profits of more than A$1bn (£558m).

The Robin Hood tax campaign is supported by 50 organisations including Oxfam, the TUC, Barnardo's, ActionAid and the Salvation Army.

The campaign will be launched today with an online promotional film written by Richard Curtis, the writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral, and starring Bill Nighy.

Yesterday, the campaign beamed an image with the words "Be part of the world's greatest bank job" on to the Bank of England in London. The tax would apply only to transactions between financial institutions, such as for shares and derivatives.

Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam, said: "A tiny tax on banks would make a massive difference to the millions of ordinary people around the globe forced into extreme poverty by the economic crisis."

The UK campaign – which today wrote a letter to this country's political parties – is part of an international movement which has been gaining momentum. The UK, German and French leaders, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, have all spoken out in recent months in support of some form of transaction tax.

The financial heavyweights who are backing the tax include the Financial Services Authority's Lord Turner, George Soros, Warren Buffett and Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland. While different rates of tax would apply to different types of transactions, the campaign says they could start at 5p for every £1,000 traded.

In a sign of the good times returning to investment banking, UBS yesterday reported net profits of Sfr1.2bn (£718m) in the final quarter of 2009, compared with a loss of Sfr564m in the previous quarter. Macquarie said its net profits for the six months to 31 March would be in line with its first half's A$479m, but this was below analyst expectations.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Audit Manager Central Functions

To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week