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Is JP Morgan the first casualty of the banking bonus tax?

The UK government is today reeling from news that JP Morgan, the US financial giant, is reconsidering a £1.5 billion London head office in light of the government's banking bonus tax. While the company has remained silent in public, it is believed that Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan, called the chancellor Alistair Darling and threatened to scrap the introduction of the company's new European head office in the Docklands. Is this the first major casualty of the UK government's banking tax?

While officially the company is "considering its options" in private there is dismay that the UK government is still attacking the UK banking sector purely and simply to curry favour with UK voters. This is a sector which has been central to the growth of the UK economy for many years, and a sector which will be vital to the recovery of the UK in the future. If companies such as JP Morgan are prepared to cancel a £1.5 billion project then it is highly likely we will see other major financial companies follow suit. There was no comment on where JP Morgan may relocate, if the London project is cancelled, but all eyes are on the government and JP Morgan at the moment.

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