Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc: ComC 3 Feb 2004

The claimant had obtained orders against two companies who banked with the respondent. Asset freezing orders were served on the bank, but within a short time the customer used the bank’s Faxpay national service to transfer substantial sums outside the bank’s branch controls, and defeat the freezing order. The claimant sought recovery from the bank. What duty of care was owed by the bank?
Held: To take on a duty of care ‘the defendant’s conduct must in the circumstances have been brought home to the claimants and invited the claimant’s reliance on the care with which the information has been provided or the service provided.’


The Honourable Mr Justice Colman


[2004] EWHC 122 (Comm Court), [2004] 1 WLR 2027




England and Wales


CitedZ Ltd v A-Z and AA-LL CA 1982
The court gave directions on how banks and other third parties were to respond to Mareva injunctions. The plaintiff had obtained orders against companies with bank accounts in England. The action was settled, but the banks sougfht clarification.
CitedSmith v Eric S Bush, a firm etc HL 20-Apr-1989
In Smith, the lender instructed a valuer who knew that the buyer and mortgagee were likely to rely on his valuation alone. The valuer said his terms excluded responsibility. The mortgagor had paid an inspection fee to the building society and . .
CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
CitedZ Bank v DI ChD 1994
A company in contempt of court may have acted with a greater or lesser degree of culpability and the court has a discretion to impose punishment commensurate with that culpability, although some penalty is likely to be appropriate unless the . .
CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
CitedHenderson v Merrett Syndicates Ltd HL 25-Jul-1994
Lloyds Agents Owe Care Duty to Member; no Contract
Managing agents conducted the financial affairs of the Lloyds Names belonging to the syndicates under their charge. It was alleged that they managed these affairs with a lack of due careleading to enormous losses.
Held: The assumption of . .
CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .
CitedAl-Kandari v J R Brown and Co CA 1988
A solicitor had undertaken to look after certain passports, but failed to do so. The husband had twice previously kidnapped his children whose custody was an issue before the court. Once the husband regained the passports, he again fled with the . .
CitedArthur JS Hall and Co (A Firm) v Simons; Barratt v Woolf Seddon (A Firm); Harris v Schofield Roberts and Hill (A Firm) HL 20-Jul-2000
Clients sued their solicitors for negligence. The solicitors responded by claiming that, when acting as advocates, they had the same immunities granted to barristers.
Held: The immunity from suit for negligence enjoyed by advocates acting in . .
CitedDean v Allin and Watts (a Firm) CA 23-May-2001
An unsophisticated lender running the business of a car mechanic wanted to lend money to borrowers on the security of real property owned by an associate of the borrowers. The borrowers instructed the defendant solicitors to give effect to this . .
CitedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
CitedBusiness Computers International Ltd v Registrar of Companies ChD 1988
A winding up petition was served at an address which was not that of the plaintiff’s registered office, and nobody appeared at the hearing. A winding up order was made against the plaintiff company, which now sued the solicitors who had misserved . .
CitedCheltenham and Gloucester Building Society v Ricketts CA 1993
The court set out the principles to be applied when considering cross undertakings in damages: ‘(1) Save in special cases an undertaking as to damages is the price which the person asking for an interlocutory injunction has to pay for its grant. The . .
CitedWilliams and Another v Natural Life Health Foods Ltd and Another HL 30-Apr-1998
A company director was not personally reliable in negligence for bad advice given by him as director unless it could clearly be shown that he had willingly accepted such personal responsibility. A special relationship involving an assumption of . .
CitedConnolly-Martin v Davis CA 27-May-1999
A claim was brought by a party against counsel for his opponent who had gone beyond his authority in giving an undertaking for his client.
Held: The claim had no prospect of success, and had been struck out correctly. Counsel offering to the . .
CitedCann v Wilson HL 1888
A surveyor was held to have a duty of care to the lender when he was engaged by the purchaser of a property. . .
CitedMinistry of Housing and Local Government v Sharp CA 1970
Mr Sharp was the local land registrar with statutory duty to maintain the local registry, issuing certificates in response to search requests. A clerk who had been seconded by another Council to assist him negligently issued an inaccurate . .
CitedYianni v Edwin Evans and Sons ChD 1981
The respondent valuers reported to a building society that a property would be a sufficient security. The purchaser relied on that report to purchase the property, ignoring the advice in the lender’s form to obtain a full survey. The property was . .
CitedPeabody Donation Fund v Sir Lindsay Parkinson and Co Ltd HL 18-Oct-1983
Architects proposed a system of flexible drains for a site, but the contractors persuaded them to accept rigid drains which once laid proved inadequate at considerable cost. The local authority had permitted the departure from the plans.
Held: . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromCustoms and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc CA 22-Nov-2004
The claimant had obtained judgment against customers of the defendant, and then freezing orders for the accounts. The defendants inadvertently or negligently allowed sums to be transferred from the accounts. The claimants sought repayment by the . .
CitedErnst Kastner v Marc Jason, Davis Sherman, Brigitte Sherman CA 2-Dec-2004
The parties had agreed that their dispute should be resolved before the Jewish Beth Din according to Jewish substantive and procedural law. K was granted an interim freezing order. The defendant sold the asset, and K sought to assert a charge.
At First InstanceHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 25 September 2022; Ref: scu.192612