Chancellor criticizes Barclays for tax avoidance

6 September 2012

Barclays has broken commitments made with the UK government with regard to purchasing bonds.

That is according to chancellor George Osborne, who has today (6 September) accused the major British bank of breaching rules agreed between financiers and the Conservative-Liberal Democrat.

Under the terms of this 2010 code, lenders pledged to not only abide by tax laws, but also to adhere to the spirit of these regulations by making sure they act fairly.

Barclays has insisted that the bond-buying scheme for which it has come under fire from regulators was both widely used and tolerated in the banking industry, but Mr Osborne has dismissed this suggestion.

The senior government minister has written to Treasury Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, who revealed Mr Osborne is highly dissatisfied by the financier's operations in this area.

"The chancellor flatly contradicts Barclays ... if Barclays thinks the chancellor is mistaken it should explain why," he noted.

By Gary Cooper

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