France has become the first European country to impose a financial transaction tax

A national French levy of 0.2pc to be paid on all share purchases came into effect

The charge was included in a revised budget by new French President Francois Hollande. The Hollande government doubled the levy to 0.2pc from the 0.1pc tax that had been planned by former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The French government estimates that the tax will bring in an additional €170m in 2012 and €500m next year.