Slovak banks have profits so huge that only drugs and human trafficking compare, reckons Smer’s leader Robert Fico. The government will therefore double the special banking levy to 0.4% of assets for 2020, getting an additional €130m into the state budget. Back in October, the government approved a budget foreseeing abolition of the levy in 2021. The proceeds from the levy will fund ’social’ measures, such as the 13th pension. Fico explains that the banks’ high profits do not stem from good services but rather from constant increases in fees.
The opposition Sme rodina party backs the hike, while PS/Spolu and SaS stand opposed. The central bank NBS and the banking association SBA warn the hike puts the sector’s financial stability at risk.