Boris aide slams bank levy policy

A SENIOR economic adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson has fired a shot across the bows of the Treasury, warning that too much banker bashing could put £20bn of tax revenue at risk.

Writing exclusively in today’s City A.M., Anthony Browne says: “It is clear that banker bashing is not a joyful cost-free pastime. It has severe fiscal consequences.”

In particular, he targets George Osborne’s bank levy, which the chancellor raised unexpectedly two weeks ago to extract more cash from banks. “The banking levy will affect the location of balance-sheet heavy global trading businesses,” says Browne.

He points to a study by Oliver Wyman showing that £20bn of the tax receipts delivered to the Treasury by financial institutions last year came from highly mobile activities that could easily move abroad.