Anti-tax avoidance campaigners protested outside 50 Barclays branches at the weekend after the bank admitted it paid just 1 per cent of 2009 profits in UK corporation tax.
Action group UK Uncut organised the protests after Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond revealed the bank paid £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 on a group profit of £11.6bn.
Several branches had to close due to the protests, which were staged in cities including London, Edinburgh and Birmingham.
Under the current corporation tax system, Barclays was able to offset losses resulting from the financial crisis against future tax bills.
A spokesman says: “Barclays has operations in 50 countries worldwide, all of which are subject to close governance and clear disclosure. The corporate tax affairs of an organisation with the global footprint of Barclays are complex and not red-ucible to simplistic comparisons. Any link between Barclays group profits and the amount of tax paid to the UK is inappropriate – there is no direct correlation between the two.”
Jamieson Financial Management principal Bruce Jamieson says: “The amount of corporation tax Barclays has paid is outrageous. The problem is because the amount is so minuscule, it is doing nothing to help alleviate the UK’s deficit problem. Barclays has gone about this in an appalling fashion and I can understand these protests.”
UK Uncut plans more protests against Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest this weekend.