November 21, 2019 / 11:27 AM / 8 months ago

Socialism in the City: UK Labour's plans for the finance industry

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Party published its election manifesto on Thursday, including plans for higher taxes to raise billions of pounds for more public spending and tougher regulation of London’s huge financial services industry.

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn holds his party's general election manifesto at its launch in Birmingham, Britain November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Below are some of the policies:


Labour will expand Britain’s existing financial transaction tax on shares to trading in other assets, including foreign exchange, interest rate derivatives and commodities.

The tax will be based on who does the trade rather than where the transaction takes place.

Labour says the tax may raise 8.8 billion pounds ($11 billion) in 2023-2024 and will reduce trading volatility.


Labour will increase the main rate of corporation tax from 19 to 21% by next year, raising an extra 2 billion pounds. The tax will rise to 26% by 2022.

The party will also review corporate tax reliefs with a view to reducing them by 4.3 billion pounds.


Labour will introduce a broader “public interest” test to stop hostile takeovers “destroying treasured home-grown” industries.


It promises to create a National Investment Bank to deliver 250 billion pounds of lending to tackle what it calls the failure of the banking system to provide longer-term funding for small and medium-sized enterprises.


Labour say they will change the law so that banks cannot close a branch where there is a clear local need for one and will ban charges on withdrawing money from cash machines.

Banks have faced criticism over branch closures with politicians saying they are damaging small businesses, while campaigners say they disadvantage vulnerable people less able to use online banking services.


Labour will force accounting companies to separate their audit and consulting businesses and will impose more robust rules on auditors.


Labour will de-list firms from the stock exchange that fail to take adequate steps to deal with climate change and encourage financial watchdogs to promote green investments.


Labour has previously said it will halt the privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland if it comes to power.

RBS remains 62%-owned by taxpayers after a 45 billion-pound bailout in the 2008 financial crisis, although the government has conducted two share sales as it looks to return it to private ownership.

Labour did not mention halting the privatisation of RBS in its manifesto.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Huw Jones; editing by Stephen Addison

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