New ‘offshore’ row for Barclays

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BARCLAYS, which has 30 subsidiaries based in the Isle of Man, has come under fire again for the amount of corporate tax it pays in the United Kingdom.

The bank’s chief executive Bob Diamond was grilled by MPs at the UK Treasury select committee last month when Streatham Labour MP Chuka Umunna called on him to cut the number of offshore companies Barclays used.

Mr Umunna suggested the bank operated 30 such subsidiaries in the Isle of Man, 38 in Jersey and 181 in the Cayman Islands.

Now Mr Diamond, who is Britain’s highest paid banker, has confirmed that Barclays paid out just £113m in corporation tax in 2009, despite making a pre-tax profit of £11.6bn.

Mr Umunna said it was ‘shocking’ that the banking giant had paid so little in corporation tax in 2009. The Labour MP has pressed Mr Diamond to give the figures at last month’s Treasury Select Committee but at that time the banking boss said only that it had paid £2bn of tax, and £12.5bn over the last six years, but could not give a percentage of how much of this was in fact payroll tax paid by employees.

Mr Diamond said in his letter to Mr Umanna that Barclays had reduced its tax bill due to UK losses brought forward principally arising from credit write downs.

Barclays is one of the biggest private sector employers in the Isle of Man.

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