Businessman not allowed take €6m KBC Bank action

A man who owes KBC Bank over €6.2m cannot pursue an action alleging the bank engaged in negligent lending, the commercial court has ruled. 

There is no cause of action here for reckless or negligent lending, Mr Justice Brian McGovern said.

James Osborne of Fort Road, Gorey, Co Wexford, had no reasonable cause of action against KBC, his proceedings were “frivolous and vexatious”, an abuse of process in effectively attacking a previous High Court decision against him, and out of time, the judge found.

The action must be dismissed, he ruled.

KBC secured summary judgement last December for some €6.2m against Mr Osborne, Fort Road, Gorey, arising from loans linked to and secured on Gorey Retail Park in Co Wexford, after the High Court found he had no arguable defence to its claim. The bank has appointed receivers to the park where 400 people were employed.

In February 2016, Mr Osborne initiated proceedings against KBC and other parties alleging negligence, breach of statutory duty and breach of contract in relation to the advancing of funds.

About €7m was advanced between 2002 and 2004 and facilities were restructured in 2009. 

He abandoned his claims against the other parties but sought to pursue claims against KBC alleging it completed a loan facility without taking appropriate steps to check whether there was a fire-safety certificate.

KBC applied to have his case struck out on grounds including it demonstrated no cause of action. Granting the bank’s application, Mr Justice McGovern said the sides agreed, when monies were loaned to Mr Osborne, there was no fire-safety certificate in place.

Among various claims in his case, Mr Osborne alleged KBC gave investment advice and engaged in banking practises that, he alleged, led to him suffering substantial financial loss and destruction of his equity in properties in Gorey Retail Park.

KBC previously said its summary judgement application was part of an “enforcement strategy” that it “reluctantly” decided to follow against Mr Osborne.


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