Durkin v DSG Retail Ltd and Another: SC 26 Mar 2014

Cancellation of Hire Finance Contract

The claimant had bought a PC with a finance agreement with the respondent. He rejected it a day later, but the respondent refused to cancel the credit agreement. The respondent had threatened to report his non-payment to credit reference companies, which in due course caused the appellant more difficulties. He claimed damages of 250,000 pounds for this damage, alleging negligence. He had succeeded in establishing a right to reject the computer. The bank succeeded on appeal against a finding that it was liable in damages.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Lord Hodge said that the purpose of the restricted-use credit agreement is to finance a transaction between the consumer and the supplier. Where, as here, the contract is tied to a particular transaction, it has no other purpose. The rescission of the supply agreement excuses the innocent party from further performance of any obligations he has under it. It is inherent in a debtor-creditor-supplier agreement under the 1974 Act, which is also tied into a specific supply transaction, that if the supply transaction it financed is brought to an end by the supplier’s repudiatory breach of contract, the debtor must repay the borrowed funds recovered from the supplier. In order to reflect that reality, the law implies a term into such a credit agreement that it is conditional upon the survival of the supply agreement. The debtor on rejecting the goods and thereby rescinding the supply agreement for breach of contract may also rescind the credit agreement by invoking this condition.

Hale, Hodge LL
[2014] 1 WLR 1148, [2014] UKSC 21, [2014] WLR(D) 144, 2014 GWD 12-211, UKSC 2012/0135
Bailii, WLRD, SC Summary, SC
Consumer Credit Act 1974 75(1)
Appeal fromDurkin (Aberdeen Sheriff Court) v DSG Retail Ltd SCS 15-Jun-2010
The appellant had purchased a computer from an associated company of the defender with finance from the defender. He complained that on his return of the computer the defender had failed to cancel the consumer credit agreement, causing him losses. . .
CitedUnited Dominions Trust Ltd v Taylor ScSf 1980
. .
CitedKrell v Henry CA 1903
A contract to rent rooms for two days and from which the coronation processions of King Edward VII were to be viewed was frustrated when the processions were cancelled on the days the rooms were taken for because the contract was ‘a licence to use . .
CitedMcWilliams v Sir William Arrol and Company Ltd HL 21-Feb-1962
Damages were sought after the death of the pursuer’s husband working for the respondent. The trial judge had been satisfied that even if the defendants had performed their duty at common law and pursuant to statute, and had provided the deceased . .
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 . .
CitedFederal Commerce Ltd v Molena Alpha Inc; (The ‘Nanfri’) CA 1978
The court considered whether claim as against a shipowner could be set off against sums due under a time charter hire.
Held: Save for any contractual provision to the contrary a tenant is entitled to deduct from the rent payable, so as to . .
CitedPhoto Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd HL 14-Feb-1980
Interpretation of Exclusion Clauses
The plaintiffs had contracted with the defendants for the provision of a night patrol service for their factory. The perils the parties had in mind were fire and theft. A patrol man deliberately lit a fire which burned down the factory. It was an . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Consumer, Negligence, Banking

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.523194