Lithuanian candidate's statement on banks avoiding solidarity tax to exploit users is inaccurate

By: Emilia Stankeviciute
May 7 2024

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Lithuanian candidate's statement on banks avoiding solidarity tax to exploit users is inaccurate

Source: TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

Banking officials' statements and the tax structure indicate the decision not to extend aligns with economic forecasts, not user exploitation.

Claim ID 04a74dad


In May 2023, Lithuania introduced a temporary voluntary payment for banks operating in the country due to commercial banks' record profits from increased European Central Bank (ECB) interest rates. The tax is paid on net interest income of more than 50 percent above the average income of the last four years.

In a Facebook post, also shared on TikTok on April 19, 2024, Lithuanian presidential candidate Remigijus Žemaitaitis claimed that Lithuanian banks are unwilling to continue paying the contribution in 2025 to increase their profits at the expense of its users. The Facebook post received 642 likes, and the TikTok video was watched over 32,600 times.

Screenshot of the post. (Source/TikTok/Screenshot)

In fact

The tax was always intended as a temporary measure, covering the years 2023 and 2024. It was introduced in response to exceptional economic conditions, including high interest rates and the static behavior of customers with fixed-term deposits.

Simonas Krėpšta, a member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, stated in an article by that these conditions are expected to conclude around 2025. His statement echoes the ECB's predicted interest rates for 2025, with rates projected to drop to approximately 3.29 percent, down from 4.5 percent in 2023.

Remigijus Žemaitaitis has faced legal repercussions multiple times for problematic Facebook posts. Initially, a court found him guilty of making false accusations about a political activist tied to a fundraiser for a Ukrainian combat drone, ruling that his statements had harmed the activist’s dignity and professional reputation. This resulted in a court mandate for him to withdraw his statements and remove the post. In another case, his defamation of a journalist led to a court order to eliminate the offensive posts and cover legal fees.

On May 2, 2024, the Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission revoked Žemaitaitis’s mandate as an MP after he resigned. This decision followed a Constitutional Court ruling that he breached his oath by making antisemitic comments and violating the Constitution. Resigning helped him avoid a possible ten-year ban on holding elected office.

The verdict

Statements by banking officials and the structured nature of the tax itself indicate that the decision not to extend the tax aligns with planned economic forecasts rather than an intention to exploit users. Therefore, we have marked the claim made by Remigijus Žemaitaitis as misleading.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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