German tax revenues fall 23.5% due to coronavirus pandemic

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is facing its most severe recession since World War Two as measures to prevent the disease have hampered public life and business. (Reuters)
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Updated 22 May 2020

German tax revenues fall 23.5% due to coronavirus pandemic

  • Europe’s largest economy is facing its most severe recession since World War Two

BERLIN: Tax revenues of the German government and the 16 federal states declined by 23.5 percent in April from a year earlier to around $43 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, the finance ministry’s monthly report showed on Friday.
Europe’s largest economy is facing its most severe recession since World War Two as measures to prevent the disease have hampered public life and business.
Early indicators show that the situation will likely remain difficult over the next months, the ministry said.
The revenue decline was most severe for income, corporate and air traffic taxes, the report showed. The pandemic’s impact on tax revenues were first visible in March but has now accelerated.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said earlier this month that the plunge in tax revenues will not stop the government from presenting a stimulus package next month to help companies recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Germany has approved an initial rescue package worth more than $825 billion to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, with the government taking on new debt for the first time since 2013.


HSBC to axe 82 branches in UK, cut services in others

Updated 19 January 2021

HSBC to axe 82 branches in UK, cut services in others

  • The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK following the closures

LONDON: HSBC said on Tuesday it planned to axe 82 branches in Britain this year after a drop in footfall across its retail network and a surge in digital banking.
The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK following the closures, with many of the remaining branches set to be refurbished with some providing fewer services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dented bank finances, putting pressure on lenders to cut costs, while more customers have opted to bank online as people have been encouraged to stay at home to combat the spread of the virus.
HSBC said it had begun trialing different branch formats and decided to provide fewer full-service branches focused in large cities and towns, with others providing cash or self-service technology.
The bank said ‘pop-up’ mobile branches would also be rolled out later this year.
“The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand,” said Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network.