Banks Beware 2

Picture of Say No to CallsSo similar as to appear to be the same case, a few days after a bank was found to have harassed an account holder, along comes another case making the same point.

This case is Johnson v Bank of Scotland plc [2013] All ER (D) 193 (Jun) before a differently constituted Court of Appeal [actually it looks as though Jackson LJ sat on both cases] but involving the same bank (represented by different solicitors and counsel).

The procedural background is unusual but the underlying principle much the same. The bank was trying to obtain repayment of an overdraft of £1,300 (probably very much less than they will have spent on these legal proceedings) from Mrs Johnson.

Solicitors and then a debt collection agency sent letters and made calls chasing payment in spite of her requests that they desist. After she issued proceedings for an injunction, the bank gave assurances to stop contacting her while a payment plan was agreed.

The debt collection agency in fact continued to contact her and the bank later wrote off the debt and confirmed that as a result there would be no further communications.

The case remained live owing to an appeal against an earlier procedural decision and it came before the Court of Appeal who confirmed that it was well arguable that the conduct in question amounted to harassment.

Judgment for harassment could not be given as no evidence had been heard so the facts not tested but 2 messages are clear. First, banks needs to be very cautious in the steps they take to pursue customers to avoid harassing them.

Secondly, on a broader front, if anyone still believes Conn is good authority for the proposition that only criminal conduct can be harassment, then this is yet another case which shows that to be wrong.

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2 Comments

Filed under Cases, Harassment

2 responses to “Banks Beware 2

  1. Pingback: Bank-bashing by the Court of Appeal | inforightsandwrongs

  2. Pingback: Bank-bashing by the Court of Appeal | Legal repository

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