Tax row unfair to us, Barclays tells MPs

Barclays told MPs yesterday that it was singled out for unfair treatment by tax authorities earlier this year when the Government said it would close two "aggressive tax avoidance schemes" used by Barclays and retrospectively applied a new tax to a bond buyback the bank did in December.

"Unnecessary damage was placed on Barclays' reputation just at a time when the focus should be on rebuilding confidence and accelerating growth, not undermining it," Bob Diamond, the bank's chief executive, pictured, said in a letter to Andrew Tyrie, chairman of Parliament's Treasury Select Committee. Mr Tyrie asked Mr Diamond to write the letter at a meeting last month and has asked the Chancellor and HMRC for their responses on Mr Diamond's letter.