Paragon Finance plc v Nash etc: CA 15 Oct 2001

The court was asked to consider whether there was any implied term limiting the power of a mortgagee to set interest rates under a variable rate mortgage.
Held: A loan arrangement which allowed a lender to vary the implied rate of interest, included an implied term not to impose an unreasonable or extortionate rate, nor to act for an unreasonable, improper, dishonest, or capricious purpose. When a court looked at the question of whether an arrangement was an extortionate credit bargain, it must look at the situation at the time the bargain is made. Also, the setting of interest rates was not ‘contractual performance’ under the 1977 Act, so as to allow that Act to bite. In this case, the lenders had failed to reduce interest rates in line with other rates generally available. This had however been for proper commercial considerations, and so any implied term did not apply. Unreasonableness in the context connotes conduct or a decision to which no reasonable person having the relevant discretion could have subscribed.

Lord Justice Thorpe, Lord Justice Dyson and Mr Justice Astill
Times 25-Oct-2001, Gazette 15-Nov-2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 1466, [2002] 1 WLR 685
Consumer Credit Act 1974 137(2)(b) 138, Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 3(2)(b)
England and Wales
DistinguishedLombard Tricity Finance Ltd v Paton CA 1989
The borrower challenged a variation of the interest rate to be charged on his regulated loan. The agreement purported to give the lender a full discretion to vary the rate on notice.
Held: The Regulations required the agreement to identify the . .
CitedAbu Dhabi National Tanker Co v Product Star Shipping Ltd (No 2) CA 1993
Where parties enter into a contract which confers a discretion on one of them, the discretion must be exercised honestly and in good faith, and not ‘arbitrarily, capriciously or unreasonably’. The owner had acted unreasonably in that there was no . .
CitedGan Insurance Co Ltd v Tai Ping Insurance Co Ltd CA 3-Jul-2001
A reinsurance contract which contained a clause which provided that no settlement or compromise of a claim could be made or liability admitted by the insured without the prior approval of the reinsurers. The court considered how the discretion to . .
CitedBarclays Bank Ltd v Bird 1954
An equitable chargee has an immediate right to possession, subject only to his first obtaining an order for possession from the court: ‘An equitable mortgagee . . has no right to possession until the court gives it to him.’ . .

Cited by:
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CitedLymington Marina Ltd v MacNamara and others CA 2-Mar-2007
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CitedSocimer International Bank Ltd v Standard Bank London Ltd CA 22-Feb-2008
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CitedBritish Telecommunications Plc v Telefonica O2 UK Ltd SC 9-Jul-2014
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Consumer, Banking, Contract

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.166707