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Probe into Barclays' tax dodge claims

BRITAIN'S tax office said yesterday that it is investigating claims by a whistleblower that Barclays PLC, the country's third-largest bank, has allegedly been planning to dodge taxes.

"We have received papers relating to allegations of tax avoidance in the banking industry which we are studying carefully," HM Revenue & Customs said.

The Guardian newspaper reported on the weekend that the documents reveal the existence of a scheme codenamed Project Knight, which appeared to be an attempt to obtain tax relief in different countries.

The newspaper said the 2007 plan was created by a team within Barclays Capital, a subsidiary of the bank, to legally avoid tax.

Barclays said the project was voluntarily and fully disclosed to the tax office.

Barclays shares rose as high as 95.60 pence (US$1.34) by midday in London.


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