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EU Transaction Tax Is ‘Undesirable,’ Dutch Central Bank Says

The Dutch central bank said it opposes the introduction of a European financial transaction tax that it estimated would cost the nation’s lenders, pension funds and insurers about 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) and hurt economic growth.

The Netherlands would be relatively hard hit by the levy because of the size of its financial industry, the Dutch central bank said in a statement today. The tax would lead to annual costs of 2 billion euros for banks, 1.7 billion euros for pension funds and 0.3 billion euros for insurers, it said.

It’s “doubtful” whether the tax proposed by the European Union will limit risks, the bank said in a statement. “The negative impact on the economy is a certainty.”

The European Commission in September suggested a tax of 0.1 percent on equity and bond transactions and 0.01 percent on derivatives to raise 55 billion euros a year. EU finance ministers are scheduled to discuss the levy in March. The Dutch central bank joins the U.K. in opposing the measures.

The Dutch government has said it won’t block the introduction of a European financial-transaction tax, while “acknowledging” a worldwide introduction would be more effective, Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said in November.

Balance sheets of Dutch banks, including ING Groep NV (INGA), Rabobank Groep (RABO) and ABN Amro Group NV, total almost five times the size of the nation’s economy. In addition, the country’s pension funds have about 835 billion euros in assets. The Dutch central bank’s estimates don’t include investment firms, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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