Breaking: English High Court Ruling Creates New Legal Precedent & Jurisdiction over Lebanese Banks with Geo-Political Implications
“Bilal Khalifeh sets precedent for clients across Europe to bring action against Lebanese banks for their failure to return their savings”.
A judge in the English High Court ruled yesterday that courts in England and Wales do have jurisdiction in consumer cases pertaining to Lebanese banks. The case was brought against Blom Bank, Lebanon’s second-largest lender, by Bilal Khalifeh, a Lebanese national who is also a United Kingdom resident.
The High Court judge agreed with Mr. Khalifeh’s argument that, as a UK resident, he was entitled to bring a case in English courts against Blom Bank for failing to return his savings.
On this matter, Survivability News legal and economic analyst said: “On face value, it may appear that the court ruling may have little practical enforceability or implications. But if Lebanese banks, such as Blom, have branches or operation in the UK, the court can have significant leverage on them by imposing severe penalties on their UK operations if they continue to withhold funds of account holder against their instructions.”
The analyst added: “Its highly likely that the US will now consider using this new legal precedent and angle to exercise further economic pressure on Lebanese banks that support Hezbollah group and its supporters.”
In a press statement on his victory, Mr Khalifeh said: “This is a victory for Lebanese consumers. I brought the case out of frustration of Blom Bank’s refusal to return my life savings. It shows that no one, including banks in Lebanon, is above the law.”
He added: “I was in the fortunate position that I was able to afford to bring this case, and I am mindful that not every consumer is able to do so. I hope that this case will help the many thousands of people in similar situations, but Lebanese banks should now do the right thing and pay all consumers their savings back.”