Barclays plans to ditch its tax advisory business, despite its profitability, in a bid to improve the bank’s reputation.
Barclays’ new chief executive, Antony Jenkins, is attempting to clean up the bank’s image. He will say say tomorrow that the bank is closing its structured capital markets business, the division which is responsible for advising big business on tax policy and structuring.
‘The old ways weren’t the right way to behave nor did they deliver the right results; for banks themselves or for wider society… Banks that fail to change will become failing banks,’ Jenkins wrote in the draft of a speech due to be delivered tomorrow.
‘There are some areas that relied on sophisticated and complex structures, where transactions were carried out with the primary objective of accessing the tax benefits. Although this was legal, going forward such activity is incompatible with our purpose. We will not engage in it again.’
Jenkins will outline new tax principles limiting what transactions the bank will be able to get involved in.
Find out more about tax avoidance in the news.