Still not sure if you are a banker....

Posted by Morgan on 15th Dec 2009
It seems that my blog following the PBR was spot on. The Treasury is struggling to define who is a banker and, thus, who are the lucky punters that get to pay a bit more tax to HMRC.

Dylan Lobo on Citywire has a good article talking through the issues.

In a nutshell if you do the following you are allegedly a banker:

"* Those accepting deposits (in other words providing current accounts and deposit accounts to retail customers).

* Those dealing in investment as a principal (in other words trading in derivatives, bonds, commodities etc. on their own account).

* Those dealing in investments as an agent (in other words trading in the above types of investments as behalf of clients), or arranging deals in investments.

* Those safeguarding and administering investments on behalf of clients.

* Regulated mortgage contracts (in other words carrying out retail mortgage lending)."

That should just about cover anyone working in Financial Services or doing anything that involves money, so in today's London economy - just about everyone.

HMRC has noted this may not be workable? So will publish more guidelines in January, which is great given that many bonuses are paid in December. I am told many firms have or are suspending payments until they have this clarity. In the meantime a cloud will hangover the largest tax generating sector in our economy and the City as a financial centre. This may sound over dramatic but I am already told it is impacting investment and spending on high value goods, just what is needed in a recession.

I am still not against the idea of the tax but surely fiscal policy has to be well though through and not be so transparent as to only be effective in tabloid headlines. This is what happens when the politicians are allowed to make decisions rather than the mandarins - see any old repeat of Yes, Minister. Where is Humphrey?

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