Credit Co-operatif levies a Tobin Tax on currency transactions

In his blog, Ed Mayo reported that Credit Cooperatif – the French co-operative bank – has announced that it is going to levy a Tobin Tax on currency transactions on a voluntary basis. The proceeds will be put towards action to meet the Millennium Development Goals. 

He explains that the idea of the Tobin Tax (or ‘Robin Hood’ tax) is to discourage speculation and raise funding that could be of wider use.  

A further search draws on Japan’s Environmental Finance Watch website which summarises the Crédit Coopératif’s official release about its plan – inspired by the economist and Nobel laureate James Tobin – to impose voluntary contribution on foreign exchange transactions and fund international development aid. 

The bank estimates that introducing a 0.01% tax on the total sum of its inter-bank foreign exchange operations will generate in the region of EUR100,000 a year for development projects. 

It hopes to persuade other financial institutions to follow suit by presenting its plans for this ‘solidarity levy’ at the forthcoming 2015 Convergence Forum in Paris. 

Jean-Louis Bancel, President of the Crédit Coopératif group explains that the bank hopes to demonstrate that this innovative mechanism and a common methodology could be adopted by all to achieve the millennium objectives. 

As Ed Mayo says, at present “It is just one bank, but it is a very welcome lead”

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