German bank boss says levies will benefit Asian rivals

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The head of Germany's biggest bank, Josef Ackermann, warned Monday in an interview that growing Asian competition could benefit from proposed European and US bank levies.

"The relative importance of Asia will even increase" as a result of regulatory moves against banks in the West, Ackermann told The Wall Street Journal.

"Asian countries would be well advised not to copy levies which are so popular in many other parts of the world," he said.

Governments in Europe and the United States are set to impose bank levies to help pay for the heavy cost of financial sector bailouts.

Many in Asia are planning meanwhile to establish major financial centres to take on the established western banking powers, Ackermann said.

"A lot of governments are determined, including the Chinese, to build up financial hubs at a time when other countries are more skeptical about the financial sector," he said.

Russia and Turkey are also looking at how to reinforce their financial clout, the Deutsche Bank boss added.

© 2010 AFP

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