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2019.11.15 09:00

Establishing state bank 'shouldn't be taboo', says Lithuanian President

BNS2019.11.15 09:00

The Lithuanian government should consider setting up a state-owned bank to introduce more competition into the country's banking system, President Gitanas Nausėda says.

“I would very seriously think – together with the government – about establishing a state commercial bank. In the current situation, this alternative shouldn't be a taboo,” Nausėda said in an interview with the Delfi.lt news website.

“I think we could start discussions on ways to establish a state commercial bank in Lithuania,” he added.

Nausėda also believes a tax on bank assets, proposed by members of parliament, could instead be levied on interest rates.

The Lithuanian government is now proposing a 0.03-percent monthly tax on assets over 300 million euros held by banks, credit unions and other loan issuers.

Read more: Lithuanian cabinet backs retail, bank taxes

Revenue from the tax is already included in the 2020 state budget bill, estimated to stand at around 50-60 million euros.

The Association of Lithuanian Banks says the proposed levy violates the country's constitution, because it singles out some financial institutions.