“George Osborne’s final pre-election budget wasn’t a titanic shake-up, but there are some significant changes. Essentially, for banking, the belts are being tightened. The four big headlines from a business perspective are the accelerated selling off of bank shares and mortgage assets, the increased banking levy, the tax on “diverted profits” and finally banks being barred from deducting compensation for miss-selling from corporation tax.
Antony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers Association, has already described the ‘tax raid’ as “good politics but bad economics” and it’s worth bearing in mind that some of Osborne’s proposals will only definitely go ahead if the Conservatives are still in power after the general election in four weeks. For me and my colleagues and clients, I think the most immediate impact is going to be the creation of more compliance, risk and strategy work as financial organisations make sure they’re following all the new rules and working out how that will play into their overall business strategy.”