November 2011

Shah v HSBC: Court of Appeal Says the Identity of Staff Making SARs in Good Faith is Not Disclosable

The Court of Appeal in London ruled on 13 October that HSBC Private Bank did not have to disclose the identity of employees who had made internal reports which had led to suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) being filed with the authorities unless there was a firm suggestion on bad faith on their part.

The judgment is the result of satellite litigation arising from the more famous 2010 case of Shah v HSBC, in which the Court of Appeal ruled that parties which had suffered loss as a result of SARs being filed were entitled to demand proof from the regulated institution responsible that the suspicion on which the SAR was founded existed.