8 Apr 2013

ICAP Plc : $179.5 trillion in 2012

I read today that ICAP Plc (IAP) says "EU Trasaction Tax would hurt economies, raise costs". They said that "The tax may increase the annual interest cost as much as 8.5 billion Euros ($11 billion) for Germany, Italy and France in the first year of implementation".

Sounds terrible.

But who or what is ICAP? Well, I had never heard of them, but apparently they are the world's largest inter-bank broker.  I had a quick look on their website and discovered that you can download their monthly volumes here. Very convenient. Here is the summary for what ICAP Plc did last year. All the numbers are daily averages in billions of dollars.

I thank ICAP for providing the number of trading days per month, which allowed me to calculate total transactions over the whole of 2012. Here are the numbers.

So, there you have it. That's another $179.5 trillion to add to the list of activities that can be taxed. 0.1% of that makes a very useful $179 billion. Sure, the interest costs may increase by $11 billion, but just applying the FTT to IPAC's activity alone would raise 16 times as much. Add in the quadrillions handled by Eurex, LCHClearnet, OCC, CLS, TARGET2, EURO1 and so on, and something tells me that the taxpayer may just get a good deal from such a move.

I note that IPAC is nowhere to be seen in the BIS dataset on financial transactions. Nor will you find it in the ECB's data.

Any other firms like IPAC who would like to try and argue that FTTs are a bad idea?
Warning : every time you come out in the open, you risk having me looking at your data.

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