Roberts v Bank of Scotland plc and another appeal – [2013] All ER (D) 88

Whilst i was searching for a case on Lexis Nexis today, i came across the case report on Roberts v Bank of Scotland plc and another appeal – [2013] All ER (D) 88. This case was very interesting indeed, not least because the Bank of Scotland appealed having lost at the first instance and took the matter to the Court of Appeal and lost again.

The facts however are most interesting, it seems the Bank had called the Claimant over 500 times in the space of 12 months, and the Claimant for her part had told the Bank that she did not want to discuss the matter with the bank or its debt collectors.

The lower courts are often quick to frown on a debtor who doesnt communicate with his creditor, however quite helpfully the Court of Appeal seems to have clarified matters on this point.

 

This is an extract from the case report.

(1) The existence of a debt did not give a lender the right to bombard the debtor with calls. It was for the debtor to decide whether they wanted to discuss the matter with the creditor.

 

In respect of the harassment appeal, the claimant had made it perfectly clear that she had not wanted to speak to the bank, and she had been perfectly entitled to do so. Once the bank had phoned a few times, it had been clear that no progress was to be made. Further calls had been futile and should have been stopped. The judge had been right to characterise the calls as intimidation and they had been wholly unjustified. In respect of quantum, there was no possible ground for interfering with the judge’s assessment of damages.

While this claim was raised under the Tort of Harassment and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, it confirms that much like in the case of Harrison v Link Financial Limited, the Courts are happy to step in and uphold consumers rights not to be harassed by Banks or debt collectors, and where such conduct occurs, the Courts will award damages against the Bank or debt collector.

 

This is a very helpful Judgment and one which i will happily keep in my locker when i deal with cases where creditors have been excessive with their telephone calls.

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About paul @ watsons solicitors
Member of Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and a litigator for one of the leading firms of solicitors in Consumer Credit Act litigation. I was the fee earner in the landmark ruling of Harrison v Link Financial Limited and many other County Court decisions.

12 Responses to Roberts v Bank of Scotland plc and another appeal – [2013] All ER (D) 88

  1. leonc1963 says:

    Thanks Paul very interesting to know.

  2. leonc1963 says:

    Just go to shows the logging of calls in a diary as well as keeping phone bills, plus keeping all letters with envelopes is a must which I pointed out with your blog on facebook.

  3. EvilChris says:

    Would a SAR include all details of call history?

    • pretty sure it would, although i think the Court is likely to also want to see attempts by the debtor to tell the creditor to stop calling too to cover all bases.

      • EvilChris says:

        Dependent on the comprehensiveness of the call history (switch level call results and agent dispositions) it may be possible to establish a pattern of negligent use of an Automated Calling System. Would that strengthen the case or would it be seen as outside the remit of the court?

  4. Hi – the rather enjoyable judgment has now been uploaded to Bailii, and I’ve blogged about it here:

    http://informationrightsandwrongs.com/2013/07/19/bank-bashing-by-the-court-of-appeal/

  5. Pingback: Paul Tilley on Roberts v Bank of Scotland | Legal repository

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