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Romania could lower bank tax, finance minister says

Romania could lower the tax it requires banks to pay, Reuters reported, citing Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici.

The tax rate could be brought down to a range of 0.2% to 0.4% from 0.1% to 0.5% of lenders' financial assets based on their market share, and certain assets could also be exempted from tax, the March 20 report said. The ministry has already been in contact with banks, which have until March 21 to assess the proposal. The government plans to approve the changes through another emergency decree on March 28.

The new proposal uncouples the tax rate with the Romanian interbank offered rate, which stood at 2.94% to 3.30% as of March 20.

In December 2018, the government imposed surprise tax rates on several industries, including the banking sector, which could reach 0.9%. The decision drew flak from regulators, with central bank Governor Mugur Isărescu saying the move "could kill banks."