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For Release — May 18, 2010

Public Policy Institute study details importance of financial services industry

ALBANY— “Many New York legislators and advocates seem intent on punishing the financial services industry with higher taxes and costly new regulations. But to do so puts thousands of jobs and New York's most important industry at risk,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

A new report, “Derailing New York's Economic Engine: How Albany Punishes New York's Largest Industry”, by the Public Policy Institute, the research affiliate of The Business Council, shows how important and also how mobile the financial services industry is.

The report finds that the financial services sector is the largest contributor to New York's gross state product. And with a production multiplier applied, the total contribution to the state's economy is $318 billion.

Currently, there are more than 90 bills and not yet introduced proposals in the state legislature that would raise taxes or impose other costs and burdens on this industry. This is on top of $3.8 billion in new taxes and fees that have been levied on the sector since 2007. The industry and its employees pay 20.3 percent of the state's tax revenues.

More than 500,000 people work directly for the sector in New York and the report estimates more than 1.6 million New Yorkers are dependent on the industry to support their jobs.

While many of these workers are concentrated in New York City, the four other counties with the highest concentration of financial services workers are Nassau, Erie, Suffolk and Westchester — demonstrating the industry's importance across the state.

The report also documents that jobs in the industry are more mobile than ever and can be moved to other financial centers if New York makes itself less competitive. New York is in a global competition to remain “The Financial Capital of the World”.

“Albany punishes banks and insurance companies at our collective peril,” said Adams. “Legislators should pause to consider how many jobs throughout the state are at stake before pursuing their many new tax and regulatory schemes.”

Read the full report is available at: www.ppinys.org/reports/2010/DerailingNewYorksEconomicEngine.pdf