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Banks expected to see costs rise because of changes in VAT rules dictated by EU accession

Domestic banks will have to spend hundreds of millions of crowns because of changes in VAT related to the public finance reform and accession to the EU. They are likely to raise their prices, Hospodarske noviny wrote on 06-Feb-04.

As of Jan-04, banks are paying more for some services on which VAT has risen. These include telecom fees, and legal and consulting services. After accession to the EU, banks will have to pay taxes on services they buy abroad. "Advertising, software, marketing, and human resources were previously bought by Czech banks from their parent companies, and taxes were not paid for them," Milan Tomicek of KPMG told the paper. Ceska sporitelna said the changes in taxes will cost it over 500m crowns.

"We are trying not to shift the costs incurred due to the higher VAT to clients but we cannot rule out possible price hikes in the future," CS spokeswoman Vera Carna is quoted by Hospodarske noviny as saying. "For Komercni banka, this will mean 200m crowns," KB spokeswoman Marketa Dvorackova said.

Pavel Hejzlar of CSOB said the bank's costs will rise by hundreds of millions. Zivnostenska banka estimates its costs to rise by tens of millions of crowns, the newspaper wrote.

(NewsBase 9.ii.04)

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