Wpid Offshore
If People Want To Put Their Money Offshore, They?ll Find A Way To Do It

Civil society group ActionAid is calling on British giant bank Barclays to stop promoting tax havens in Africa.

ActionAid is leading a global fight to keep up the pressure on Barclays to make sure they ?actually change their policies while closing the loopholes they help their clients to exploit?.

In a message to its supporters of the campaign, ActionAid said it has met high level staff at Barclays to start a dialogue on the issue.

?We must keep up the pressure on Barclays to make sure they actually change their policies while closing the loopholes they help their clients to exploit. That?s where you come in,? the group told its supporters January 24, 2014.

Barclays is the largest UK bank in Africa, with operations in 17 countries. It also has 140 subsidiaries in Africa.

ActionAid is calling on the bank to close its offshore corporate department, publish detailed information about its tax strategy and provide evidence that its activities in tax havens are not linked to tax avoidance.

?If people want to put their money offshore, they?ll find a way to do it, but Barclays should stop promoting this. It is inappropriate for a bank looking to be a force for good, and aiming to expand its operations in Africa, to do this,? said Toby Quantrill, tax justice adviser at ActionAid.

According to ActionAid, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act in the United States ?is our best opportunity to ensure that multinational corporations can?t continue avoiding their responsibility to pay taxes, despite what banks like Barclays might be telling them now?.

It added that getting banks to voluntarily change their practices is a huge first step, but it?s not enough ? we must change the policies that allow corporate tax dodging to occur in the first place.

The ActionAid explains the legislation would make it more difficult for corporations to use tax havens and require greater transparency to help identify which corporations are avoiding taxes and where.

It mentioned that corporations like Apple and Microsoft avoid paying tens of billions of dollars in taxes to the US government using loopholes in the system.

By Ekow Quandzie/GBN

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