ITUC OnLine – October 3, 2011

Trade Unions Call on FSB to Address Financial Transaction Tax

Brussels, 3 October 2011 (ITUC OnLine):  As the Plenary of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) meets today in Zurich, international trade union organisations have submitted their priorities for the FSB current programme of action as mandated by the G20.

The failure of the FSB to consider a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) on today’s plenary agenda is unacceptable and leaves the FSB out of step with the growing support for the FTT.

The issue is no longer if and whether every single G20 economy should adopt a financial transaction tax system immediately, but how implementation by a group of ‘pioneer’ countries could benefit from the international cooperation forum provided by the FSB.

Controlling rampant speculation through a FTT and regulating the financial markets is critical to tacking the deepening economic crisis. The FTT could provide urgent resources for jobs, development and climate action.

If the global economy is today on the edge of a double dip recession, it is to a significant extent because of the failure to reform the global financial system promptly and decisively.

The recent scandal involving a trader at Swiss-based UBS running up losses reported as $2billion has exposed the failure of the non-binding approach which drives the FSB Principles on compensation practices.

Trade unions have also commented on the threat created by global financial conglomerates that have become “too big to fail”, the oligopoly of credit rating agencies, and the need to prevent “leaks” in the new banking Basel 3 prudential framework that could benefit the lightly regulated and speculative “shadow banking” system, including by regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.

Click here to read the letter sent by the ITUC, TUAC and UNI to Mr Svein Andresen, Secretary General of the Financial Stability Board.  


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