Rødt believes that banks earn too much from high interest rates, and tells the government to look to Italy to get rid of the interest rate tip for banks.
The short version
On Monday, it became known that Italy will introduce a new additional tax on bank profits. The news shocked the stock market and Italian bank shares plunged.
The additional tax comes on the heels of a hike in key interest rates, which has sent banks’ interest earnings higher.
Countries such as Spain and Hungary have already imposed similar taxes. Now, Redet is asking the government to consider the same.
– Increasing interest on a mortgage is one of the most damaging things to families’ finances in Norway right now. That’s why it’s greedy for banks to squeeze this lemon so hard, says Marie Sniff-Martinussen, leader of the Reid Party.
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As in large parts of Europe, profits for Norwegian banks have increased sharply in the past year. In the first half of the year, banks were net interest incomenet interest incomeNet interest income is the difference between what the bank itself pays to borrow money, and what customers pay when borrowing from the bank, which is the main source of income for the bank. at a record high of NOK 62.4 billion, according to Statistics Norway.
This represents an increase of NOK 15.2 billion compared to the first half of 2022.
– Martinussen says Vedom took this issue very lightly.
Rudd believes that the problem that the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, will overcome in Italy is the same as in Norway.
– I think the government should look at Italy and evaluate whether, as you say, such a tax should be introduced in Norway.
The new tax in Italy is a one-off tax of 40 percent of banks’ profits from higher interest rates. The tax will be limited to 0.1 percent of bank assets and will only apply in 2023.
The goal is to reduce banks’ “unfair interest margins”, as Meloni himself put it in one of them Facebook video.
Martinussen thinks the solution for Italy is interesting.
– It is a kind of punishment for working with a large difference between deposits and lending, and a measure to ensure that banks do not receive such a high margin of interest, she said.
Exit towards DNB
Rødt leader goes more aggressively against DNB. She thinks it is surprising that a partially state-owned bank has a “strict interest rate policy”.
In the second quarter of 2023, DNB generated net interest income of 15.2 billion, compared to 11.5 billion in the same quarter last year. It’s the highest amount for a major bank in a quarter ever.
– DNB and other banks cut corners at most people’s expense. Something must be done, Martinussen says.
She believes that the competition in the banking industry is very bad, and that it is difficult for customers to get an overview of the interest rate that they can demand from the bank.
The government, for its part, believes that we should accept that banks make money, as long as the profits are not the result of bad competition.
– It is important for banks to be profitable and strong, so that they can withstand future setbacks and maintain their lending offer, says Foreign Minister Erlind Grimstad (Sp), who answers questions posed by E24 to Finance Minister Trigev Slägsvold Widum.
Not included with the new tax
Grimstad says the government is concerned that there should be good competition and that it should be easy to change banks in Norway. He believes industry solutions are working well.
– We are in a challenging time for many, and I feel that banks are aware of their responsibility and are helping their customers with what they need, he says.
At the same time, he realizes that there is room for improvement.
Is it appropriate to introduce a similar tax as Italy did?
There are no major new tax measures planned by this government this year. We’ve announced this before, and it still applies.
Grimstad believed that the Norwegians should use the power they had as clients.
– We have many banks in Norway, large and small, all over the country. All customers should check if they can get better terms with their current bank or with another bank.
E24 has been in contact with DNB, which stands for Finans Norge. The industry organization does not wish to comment on the matter.
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