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Financial Transaction Tax and Banking Margins: An Empirical Note for Colombia


  • Ignacio Lozano-Espitia

    (Banco de la República de Colombia)

  • Hernando Vargas-Herrera

    (Banco de la República de Colombia)

  • Norberto Rodríguez-Niño

    (Banco de la República de Colombia)


Taxes on financial transactions have been especially controversial because of their potential effects on banking disintermediation. A modality of such taxes (Bank Debit Tax, BDT) was introduced in Colombia since the late nineties. Using monthly panel data from 1996 to 2014 for the major depository institutions, this paper provides evidence on the effects of the BDT on bank intermediation spreads. For the total sample (thirteen banks), results suggest that nowadays the hypothetical elimination of the BDT would reduce spreads in 90 basis points, from 7,7% to levels close to 6,8%. The results do not provide clear evidence of differential impacts by bank size. Tests for a regime switch of the BDT are performed, but no evidence is found to support this conjecture.

Suggested Citation

  • Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Hernando Vargas-Herrera & Norberto Rodríguez-Niño, 2015. "Financial Transaction Tax and Banking Margins: An Empirical Note for Colombia," Borradores de Economia 909, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:909
    DOI: 10.32468/be.909

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ignacio Lozano & Jorge Ramos, 2000. "Análisis sobre la Incidencia del Impuesto del 2x1000 a las Transacciones Financieras," Borradores de Economia 143, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
    3. Mr. Isaias Coelho & Ms. Victoria J Perry & Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, 2001. "Bank Debit Taxes in Latin America: An Analysis of Recent Trends," IMF Working Papers 2001/067, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Adolfo Barajas & Roberto Steiner & Natalia Salazar, 1999. "Interest Spreads in Banking in Colombia, 1974-96," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(2), pages 1-4.
    5. Dairo Estrada & Esteban Gómez & Inés Orozco, 2006. "Determinants of Interest Margins in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 2335, Banco de la Republica.
    6. Jorge Baca-Campodónico & Luiz de Mello & Andrei Kirilenko, 2006. "The Rates and Revenue of Bank Transaction Taxes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 494, OECD Publishing.
    7. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1993. "A Test of Competition in Canadian Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 49-61, February.
    8. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    9. Suescun, Rodrigo, 2004. "Raising revenue with transaction taxes in Latin america - or is it better to tax with the devil you know?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3279, The World Bank.
    10. Arellano, Manuel, 2003. "Panel Data Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245291.
    11. Marcela Giraldo & Brian W. Buckles, 2011. "The Impact of Financial Transactions Taxes on Money Demand in Colombia," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 48(1), pages 65-88.
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    More about this item


    Banking margins; intermediary; financial regulation; tax distortions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation


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