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Thursday 14 December 2017
Letters to the Editor

Banks must come clean

THE EDITOR: The recent statements by the banking industry with respect to increased taxation reveal attempts to mislead the public as well as ignorance of history.

It is entirely incorrect to state that banks will not be able to add branches or ATMs because of higher taxation.

In the 1970s through the early 1990s, corporate taxation and levies totalled in excess of 50 per cent but during this period the banks surged ahead with huge investments in technology, as well as new branches including head office buildings.

At that time profits were much lower and infrastructure spending accounted for a much larger portion of profits than at present.

ATMs, as all knowledgeable bankers know, pay for themselves as over time the number of tellers is reduced.

The fact that banks must increase loan provisions makes no difference to the actual losses suffered when all collection efforts have been exhausted. And as provisions increase so do taxes decrease.

Typically, banks dodge the issue of small savers paying $15 monthly just to operate a savings account.

No one disagrees that banks are being targeted by the State because it is easy to collect taxes from those who file accurate tax returns. However, the wealthier customers who evade taxes all have bank accounts. The banks must play their part to expose these individuals.

BENEDICT ANTHONY, St James

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