Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Banker Tax May Mean Less Money Available to Lend, Yingling Says

Americans everywhere cheered when Obama proposed a fee from the biggest banks who borrowed taxpayer money through the TARP program, but is the tax really such a good idea? Edward Yingling, CEO of the American Bankers Association has expressed concern that taxing the largest banks will stagnate their willingness to lend to customers, making economic recovery all the more difficult.

The $90 billion bank tax proposed by President Barack Obama may reduce the amount of money banks can lend by $63 billion a year, the president and chief executive officer of the American Bankers Association said.

The administration’s tax is expected to raise $9 billion a year over 10 years, said Edward Yingling, president and CEO of the ABA. Each dollar in bank capital supports $7 or more in lending, Yingling said in an interview. Some banks leverage money further, with each dollar supporting $9 or $10 in lending, he said.

“It’s a concern,” Yingling said. “Nine billion dollars could actually mean $63 billion less in lending.”

The administration is sending a “mixed message” about banks needing to lend while setting requirements that make lending harder to do, Yingling said.

Continue reading at Business Week…

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