Hedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd: CA 1961

A banker giving a gratuitous reference is not required to do his best by, for instance, making inquiries from outside sources which are available to him, though this would make his reference more reliable. All that he is required to do is to conform to that standard of skill and competence and diligence which is generally shown by persons who carry on the business of providing references of that kind. Person LJ asked: ‘Is he then expected in business hours in the bank’s time, to expend time and trouble in searching records, studying documents, weighing and comparing the favourable and unfavourable features and producing a well-balanced and well-worded report? That seems wholly unreasonable.’


Pearson LJ


[1961] 3 All ER 891, [1962] 1 QB 396, [1961] 3 WLR 1225, (1961) 105 Sol Jo 910


England and Wales


Appeal fromHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd 20-Dec-1960
The defendants were two bankers, who gave banker’s references as to the credit of a customer. The references were relied upon by the plaintiff, who claimed damages in negligence after they had suffered losses.
Held: The defendants were liable. . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromHedley 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.216356