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Czech PM wants banks to give 20 percent to state

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 6, 2019
Czech banks should pay up to 20 percent of their dividends into a new state development fund, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Sunday.
Andrej Babis
Europe   The country's banks have been strong profit drivers
The country's banks have been strong profit drivers for their mostly western parents, with their combined earnings rising 9 percent to 82.1 billion crowns ($3.58 billion) in 2018.



However, they have often faced criticism for dividends flowing abroad. The largest Czech banks are all foreign-owned. CSOB is held by Belgium's KBC, Ceska Sporitelna is part of Austria's Erste Group, and Komercni Banka is majority-owned by France's Societe Generale.

Babis has rejected introducing a sector tax on banks' assets, which his junior ruling partner the Social Democrats had proposed to raise budget revenue. Instead, he said on Sunday banks could pay into a new state development fund being readied.

"We are talking with banks, and we are saying, from these dividends... leave us some part, obligatory. We can talk about 10 to up to 20 percent," he said on a debate show on Czech television.

He added talks with banks were still ongoing and the amount of the payment was open to discussions. "We are saying, try to leave some of this (dividend) here, we will use it for investments, for the fund of national development."


 

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