Barclays to close tax planning unit

by Richard Crump

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11 Feb 2013

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BARCLAYS IS TO CLOSE its controversial tax structuring unit as part of an extensive strategic review of the business, it has been widely reported.

The bank is expected to shut the tax planning arm of its structured capital markets business in a bid towards repairing its battered reputation following a succession of scandals.

It is thought the bank will continue to offer vanilla tax planning products to its customers, but will scrap the unit which advises companies on the use of sophisticated and complex structures to cut their tax bills.

New chief executive Antony Jenkins, who claimed to be "shredding" the legacy of predecessor Bob Diamond, is expected to announce the move on Tuesday, alongside Barclays' full year results.

Diamond was forced to step down as a result of the Libor-rigging scandal, which also led to the departure of chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry del Missie.

In addition to the £290m fine for rigging the benchmark Libor interest rate , the bank is also dealing with scandals around the mis-selling of financial products.

Last week, Barclays announced that Chris Lucas, finance director since 2007, and general counsel Mark Harding, who has been with the bank for ten years, will both step down once successors have been found.

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