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Battle for the Bingham archive

Simon Hart reviews the procedural wrangles between BCCI depositors, the Bank of England and the Treasury

11 April 2003

As the financial world focuses on the collapse of Enron and WorldCom, the fallout from one of the UK’s most notorious banking scandals continues. The collapse of BCCI in July 1991 spawned litigation which has occupied the English courts for the best part of a decade. Legal action by the liquidators and proceedings by former BCCI employees who felt stigmatised by their former employer’s conduct are just some of the actions which have engaged the courts to date. It is, however, the proceedings brought by BCCI depositors which have been particularly convoluted. With little prospect of recovering their losses from the collapsed bank, the depositors initiated proceedings against the Bank of England (the Bank) as the body responsible for banking supervision during the period leading up to the collapse of BCCI. This article charts the progression of those proceedings over the last seven years and highlights some of the difficult legal issues the parties have had to wrestle with on ques...

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