Barclays Said Under Tax Spotlight, RBS Investors Feel Hester Pain

Stephen Hester

German tax authorities are investigating Barclays over the use of legal loopholes which cut the British lender's tax bill by billions of euros, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.

Reuters reports that Daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said German authorities obtained internal bank documents dated 2007-2010 in which Barclays mapped out lucrative tax loopholes related to naked short-selling transactions before and after the dividend payout dates of stocks.

With the help of a trading platform it operated in Luxembourg, Barclays obtained more tax credits than the tax it actually paid in these transactions, the paper said.

In the meantime, The Sunday Telegraph reports that investors in the Royal Bank of Scotland have criticised the amount of government interference in the state-backed institution following the ousting of Stephen Hester and the Chancellor’s plans to carve out a 'bad bank'.

The newspaper understands that at least two major blue-chip shareholders in the Scottish bank have in the past week raised their concerns with UK Financial Investments.

UKFI, which is chaired by Robin Budenberg, manages the taxpayer’s stake in both RBS and Lloyds on what is supposed to be an 'arms-length' basis.

Barclays under German taxman's gaze over tax credits - report

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