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Barclays closes controversial tax avoidance unit [UK]

The new chief executive of Barclays is to close the bank's controversial tax avoidance unit in a bid to repair its battered reputation…Antony Jenkins…will announce on…that the tax planning part of the structured capital markets (SCM) division – which has been accused of orchestrating tax avoidance on an "industrial scale" and has generated vast profits for the bank – is to be axed. The tax planning operation is one of several areas that have put been under review by Jenkins to assess if the bank's businesses are ethical and not just profitable. While Barclays will continue to offer straightforward tax planning to customers, it will pledge to no longer devise schemes purely intended for this purpose.