Banks consider legal challenge to government’s bonus supertax

A GROUP of banks including Royal Bank of Scotland has hired City law firm Clifford Chance to explore a legal challenge to the government’s 50 per cent bonus windfall tax.

The Global Financial Markets Association, which counts RBS, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse among its members, is examining the legal route as well as a range of other options.

A spokesperson for its London arm said EU competition law would be the basis for any challenge to the levy through the courts, although he emphasised the idea was one of several being considered. Lobbying against the tax before it comes into effect in April is also a possibility.

The move comes amid mixed reactions from the banks to the political furore surrounding high levels of compensation, with some reducing bonuses but not all.