Litchfield v Dreyfus: 1906

The plaintiff carried on business as an antique dealer, giving credit to customers and took bills from them in payment of amounts they owed for purchases, some of which he discounted and renewed from time to time. When he ceased business he sold his stock and took bills for the greater part of the purchase money which he also discounted and renewed from time to time. After he ceased business he became a consultant and assisted two dealers by discounting their customers’ bills. He also assisted some old friends in the trade and a few people with whom he had been connected in business with loans and by discounting bills for them, but he did not advertise as a moneylender and did not discount bills for people outside his own circle. He sought payment on bills given to an old customer. The defendant pleaded that he was an unregistered moneylender and could not recover.
Held: The defence failed. Credit given to customers and to those who purchased stock at the plaintiff’s closing down sale were loans incidental to the carrying on of his business as an antique dealer and so within proviso (d) to section 6. The later discounting of bills to assist a few old friends did not amount to carrying on the business of a moneylender, holding that whether a person carries on the business of a moneylender depends on the facts of the case.


Farwell J


[1906] 1 KB 584


Moneylenders Acts 1900 6

Cited by:

CitedGE Capital Bank Ltd v Rushton and Another CA 14-Dec-2005
The bank had entered into a master trading agreement with a trader under which the trader bought motor vehicles as agent for the bank for resale. The vehicles belonged to the bank. The defendant bought all the trader’s vehicles. The defendant now . .
CitedKenny v Conroy and Another CA 27-Jan-1999
A court need only first see whether at the time of the loan, the party’s business was that of moneylender. If not, the court then investigates if the person held themselves out as carrying on such a business. Kennedy L.J: ‘. . . a licensed . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.236661