BARCLAYS paid tax equivalent to 53% of its profit in 2013, according to data published this week detailing its tax position on a country-by-country basis for the first time.
It follows a Europe-wide regulatory requirement for banks to publish 2013 turnover and employee numbers for all countries where they operate, with further expected disclosure requirements in subsequent years.
The bank made a pre-tax profit of £2.87bn, and paid corporation taxes of £1.56bn across the world. Of that figure, just £55m was paid in the UK, against reported profits of £4.87bn. When widened out to other taxes including national insurance and VAT, its total contribution to the British public purse was £1.43bn, rising to £3.37bn worldwide.
The biggest contribution went to South Africa, which received £226m.
Barclays said it decided to “go further” than the regulatory requirements, and detailed the profit it generated, tax paid and the subsidies received in each country in which it has significant business, alongside brief explanation of the business it undertakes in those jurisdictions.
“Corporation tax payable in any given year rarely relates directly to profits earned in the same 12 months,” the bank said. “This is because tax on profits is paid across multiple years.”
It added: “Tax influences decisions about how we organise and run our business, and about where we base our operations or hold assets. Making these decisions is an integral part of running a commercial organisation and, when tax is a factor in deciding where or how we do business, we ensure there is genuine substance to the activity we conduct in each country.”