Barclays generated £593m of profits last year in Luxembourg – where much of its tax planning services were based – but employed just 30 people and paid £4m in tax.
The figures were revealed in the bank’s country-by-country breakdown which shows where it employs staff, generates profits and pays tax. The breakdown also showed the bank paid £208m in corporation tax in the UK, where it reported £3.4bn of its £5.5bn total profits – although £3.2bn of that was generated overseas.
The Luxembourg operation has been subjected to particular scrutiny because of the activities of its structured capital markets (SCM) division which aimed to help customers avoid tax. Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays, said two years ago he would close it down although he warned it could take years to do so.
Not all the business from the SCM arm was channelled through Luxembourg and a comparison with last year’s disclosures shows that headcount had risen from 14 but profits fell from £1.4bn.
The bank said Luxembourg was used for investment banking and treasury activities and that turnover had halved, “reflecting changes in the activity carried on and an increase in the funding and hedging costs the business pays within the Barclays group”. It has 10 entities listed as being based in Luxembourg.
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