ActionAid accuses Barclays of promoting use of tax havens to businesses in Africa, not contributing to responsible investment & sustainable development

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Company response
10 December 2013

Barclays’ response to ActionAid report

Author: Barclays

Barclays shares ActionAid’s belief that companies and individuals should pay the right amount of tax in the countries in which they generate revenue. We also agree with the statement that global banks have an important role to play as investors in Africa and in enabling other businesses to invest. However we do not believe that the broad conclusions drawn in the report about our activities are correct…

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Article
1 November 2013

[PDF] Time to clean up: How Barclays promotes the use of tax havens in Africa

Author: ActionAid

[Business & & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Barclays to respond. Response provided.] Barclays bank is now reported to be the largest retails bank in Africa…[R]apidly rising commodity prices have resulted in a steady increase in foreign investment…If this increase in investment is to help poor Africans, it has to provide decent jobs and business opportunities, and it must be matched with appropriate taxation to pay for crucial services such as healthcare, education or environmental management…Tax…is a global development issue…[L]lost tax, if paid and targeted effectively, would be enough to reach the UN’s millennium development goals of universal primary education and universal healthcare…[O]ur research shows that Barclays’ commitment to delivering responsible investment in Africa is questionable…We have identified two examples which show how the bank is promoting the use of tax havens by businesses investing in Africa, including African businesses themselves...It is in [Barclays’] own interest to help create economic and social development that will provide future opportunities for its business…[Also refers to Accra Brewery (part of SABMiller), Associated British Foods, HSBC, IndoFood, Lloyds TSB, MUBEX (part of SABMiller), Royal Bank of Scotland, SABMiller, Standard Chartered, Zambia Sugar (part of Associated British Food)]

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