Lloyd’s Says Taxes, Regulation Burden European Firms

High taxation and new regulation are among the most pressing concerns for senior European company executives, according to a survey by Lloyd’s of London.

The Lloyd’s Risk Index survey also found executives were worried about losing customers and the availability of credit, the world’s oldest insurance market said in a statement today.

“With business tax in the spotlight and rising up the political agenda, executives are understandably concerned,” Lloyd’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Ward said in the statement. “The danger is that an emphasis on near-term, operational issues comes at the expense of significant, strategic decisions.”

The survey comes as the European Union plans to implement a financial transaction tax as soon as next year, which could raise 30 billion euros ($38.6 billion) to 35 billion euros annually. The EU is also working through a wave of proposals to toughen regulation of its financial-services industry in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Businesses are “more focused on short term issues,” Ward said in a Bloomberg television interview with Anna Edwards, Mark Barton and Manus Cranny today. They are “concerned about the stability of the tax regime they have to operate under. What we all want in the business world is certainty.”

More than 30 draft laws have been presented by the European Commission since 2009, including texts to rewrite the bloc’s financial market rulebook and bank capital standards, according to figures given by Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial-services chief.

Lloyd’s surveyed 588 respondents across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. More than three quarters of the participants represented businesses with revenue of as much as $499 million, Lloyd’s said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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