First proposed way back in 2011, work has been ongoing to narrow down the details of a common financial transaction tax (FTT) to be introduced across Europe. Back in May this year, all but one of the 11 member states keen to push ahead had agreed that by the end of 2014 it should all be worked out and the new tax phased in by the end of 2015. But according to the EU's recent state of play report little seems to have changed since then.
The French and the Italians have already implemented FTTs. A raft of tax implementations were expected to follow, with other states taking the common system as their baseline. But with only a few short weeks left under the currently tabled plan to draft the compromise text and reach agreement on the scope, principles and exemptions, it looks like a tall order. Even without an agreed common tax, some of the countries in favour of its introduction may choose to go ahead, possibly with more diverse proposals.
As far as FTTs are concerned, it looks like the industry is firmly stuck between a rock and a hard place.