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Corporation tax, future of RBS feature in UK party manifestos

Corporation tax, the future of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and plans to protect local bank branches from closure are among the banking and finance issues raised by the U.K.'s four main political parties in their manifestos for the general election, which takes place June 8.

The Conservative Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May, favors an extension of the British Business Bank, the country's state-owned economic development bank, and powers to protect bank branches from closure in areas where there is a local need, but does not talk about plans for any further regulation of commercial banks or additional taxes.

However, the opposition Labour and Scottish National parties have specific points in their manifesto about tighter controls over the commercial banking sector, including a tax on bankers' bonuses in the case of the SNP and a consultation on the possibility of breaking up RBS into smaller public banks in the Labour manifesto. RBS was part-nationalized following the 2008 financial crisis and is still majority-owned by the Treasury.

The Conservatives had an 11-percentage-point lead over the Labour Party in an ICM poll published June 5. The Conservatives were on 45% support, according to the poll, with Labour at 34% and the Liberal Democrats polling 8%. The SNP fields candidates only in Scotland, where it won 56 of the 59 seats on offer in the 2015 election.

The 2015 election saw the Conservatives win 36.9% of the national vote and 331 of the 650 parliamentary seats on offer, against 30.4% and 232 for Labour.

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