High Court strikes out legal move over takeover of TSB


A legal application which could have delayed the takeover of the Trustee Savings Bank by Irish Life & Permanent was struck out at the High Court yesterday.

In a separate motion, the TSB secured an order restraining Mr Srinivasan Devrajan, of Deanstown Road, Dublin, from agitating other persons to take legal proceedings against it.

Mr Richard Nesbitt SC, for the TSB, said the action arose from a claim relating to the wrongful refusal of a standing order and later claims regarding interest payments.

Mr Nesbitt said Mr Devrajan had settled his actions against the bank in 1992 and had breached the terms of that settlement, including a provision not to agitate against the bank. Mr Nesbitt said the bank believed Mr Devrajan, who was not in court, was encouraging entirely innocent persons to believe they had claims against the bank and to litigate.

These claims, the bank believed, could not succeed but they were creating enormous problems for the bank and the bank had had enough.

The bank's application was one of two motions relating to the TSB dealt with yesterday by Mr Justice Kearns.

In the first motion, Mr Michael Moriarty, of Broadmeadows, Swords, sought an order joining the Central Bank as a notice party to his action against the TSB, a further order directing the Central Bank to dismiss the trustees and senior managers of the TSB and an injunction restraining the sale of the TSB pending the outcome of legal proceedings taken by Mr Moriarty. In his action, Mr Moriarty claims he and Ms Gwen Guthrie held a join deposit account with the TSB and were defrauded by the TSB over interest payments - in the sum of £13.15 -

between 1986 and 1991. He claims other TSB account holders were also defrauded over interest payments up to February 1993.

The bank has denied such claims and denied that it had a policy of applying the calculation of interest on a daily basis to accounts held by its trustees and its employees to the exclusion to ordinary customers. The bank says that while the amount of money of which it is alleged customers were deprived is quite small, the TSB took any allegation of wrongful conduct very seriously and rejected any claim it had defrauded its customers.

It also contends these matters are largely "of historical interest" because interest has been calculated on a daily basis on all TSB deposit accounts since 1993.

Mr David Barniville, for the Central Bank, opposed Mr Moriarty's motion and said there was no provision under court rules to join the bank as a notice party in the action. He said the bank was convicted of misleading advertising on its deposit and investment accounts in 1992 and fined £1,000 in 1993.

Mr Justice Kearns said Mr Moriarty needed to join the Central Bank as a co-defendant if he wished to secure orders against the Central Bank. Mr Justice Kearns said Mr Moriarty's motion could not proceed and he was striking it out. However, the judge said, he was not striking out the entire proceedings taken by Mr Moriarty.