(Corrects quote in line 12 of June 4 story to show ECB has no
competence rather than no complaints on tax issues)
SEOUL, June 4 The European Central Bank will
voice its concerns to governments if the planned tax on
financial transactions causes distortions in European financial
markets, Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said.
The ECB had no objections to the planned tax as this is not
part of the central bank's mandate, Coeure told journalists on
the sidelines of a conference in Seoul on Monday. His comments
were available for release on Tuesday.
"(If) we find the project can induce distortion on funding
markets and in money markets in Europe, then we will stand ready
to engage governments to discuss alternative measures but again,
no objection on principle - the ECB does not have a competence
on tax issues," Coeure said.
Germany and 10 other European Union member countries have
agreed a tax on trading in financial markets, which they hope to
launch in January 2014 to cover part of the cost of the
But officials working on the project told Reuters last week
that the countries were set to drastically scale back the levy
and delay its full roll-out for years.
Coeure said last month the ECB was willing to offer help in
setting up the tax to ensure the levy did not destabilise
His German colleague, Bundesbank President and ECB Governing
Council member Jens Weidmann, had raised concern in April that
the tax could impair the market for repurchase agreements, which
is important for liquidity.
Coeure said he sees such a tax having potential merits.
"I believe the tax can be good if it is well designed. But
this is just my personal view," he said.
(Reporting by Christine Kim, writing by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by