Politics 13 July 2010 Will the coalition go to war with the banks? Ministers “actively exploring” plans for a permanent tax on bank pay and profits. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML If the banks were expecting a quiet life under the coalition they were wrong. After allowing them a lucky escape in the Budget (Deutsche Bank memorably described it as a "good outcome for banks"), ministers are now "actively exploring" plans for a permanent tax on bank pay and profits. In a speech to the British Bankers' Association last night, the City minister, Mark Hoban, warned guests that ministers are looking into the introduction of a "financial activities tax", likely to raise at least as much as the £2.5bn the banking levy will bring in. But rather than adopting the confrontational tone of his predecessor Paul Myners, Hoban is appealing to bankers' self-interest. Here is an extract from his arrticle for the Guardian's Comment Is Free today: Now is the time for banks collectively to restore their reputation. That means taking an active role in the recovery and treating businesses, savers and borrowers -- all of whom funded the bank bailout -- fairly. Whether the public learns to trust the banks again is down to how banks behave. They must play their part -- their fate is in their hands. The irony is that it may fall to a centre-right coalition to accomplish what a centre-left government could not. Ensuring that the banks pay their fair share and pushing through structural reform could be a Nixon-in-China moment for David Cameron. Subscription offer: 12 issues for just £12 PLUS a free copy of "The Idea of Justice" by Amartya Sen. › Lansley’s NHS reforms will undermine fairness George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles What the debate over troops on the streets is missing The problems with ending encryption to fight terrorism How long will general election campaigning be suspended after the Manchester attack?