Court rules shopkeeper failed to establish reckless lending claim

A shopkeeper who claimed he only got a €32 million bank loan because Zurich Bank officials enhanced his original loan proposal before putting it before its credit committee for approval cannot proceed with his action against the bank, the Commercial Court has ruled.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly found yesterday Jim McConnon had failed to establish an alleged tort of reckless lending exists as a civil wrong in Irish law.

Therefore, even if that claim had not been addressed in earlier proceedings by the bank against Mr McConnon, he could not proceed with such a claim, the judge said.

The judge also halted Mr McConnon’s action on grounds including that various other claims advanced had already been decided against Mr McConnon when the bank secured a €32m judgment against him in March 2011 over unpaid loans advanced in 2007 to develop a shopping centre in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. The bank in 2010 appointed a receiver over the centre.

Alleged new evidence put forward by Mr McConnon, of Main St, Castleblayney, in support of claims his loan application was improved upon by bank officials had been before Mr Justice George Birmingham in the earlier proceedings although it was not formally exhibited,Mr Justice Kelly also accepted.

In those and other circumstances, this material did not amount to new evidence entitling Mr McConnon to proceed with his case, he ruled.

He was giving his reserved judgment granting the bank’s application to prevent Mr McConnon’s case proceeding on grounds including the issues raised could not succeed or had already been decided by Mr Justice Birmingham when he granted judgment against Mr McConnon.

After judgment was given, Mr McConnon said he intended to appeal it to the Supreme Court. The judge granted the bank’s application for costs against Mr McConnon but placed a stay on that order to allow for the bringing of an appeal against it.

Mr McConnon had last year initiated proceedings seeking orders to stop Zurich Bank Ireland enforcing the €32m judgment.


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