James EvansFrom: Banks and Financial Crime: The International Law of Tainted Money (2nd Edition)
Edited By: William Blair, Richard Brent, Tom Grant
Banks are in the front line of the battle against fraud and money laundering. The importance of denying banking facilities to criminals and fraudsters, especially where there is corruption among those who hold public office and the trust of their people, has been recognized in the context of claims made against banks under English law. An abiding theme of English commercial law is the desire to establish rules that are certain so that participants in commercial activity ‘know what ground to go upon’. However such certainty is difficult to achieve in circumstances where legal obligations will arise from subjective matters, such as a bank employee’s suspicion that a customer might be involved in unlawful activity. This notwithstanding, the chapter states, English law seeks to ensure that agents and professionals are obliged to provide information to relevant authorities and that sufficient protection is provided to suspicious agents (including banks). The overall purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of claims which may be made under English law against or by a bank (or financial institution) involved in a dispute with a customer or third party relating to the source, fate, ownership of, or freedom to deal with, money held by the bank or institution.