ANZ v Aldrick Family Company [2010] NSWSC 1000

The guarantors sought to be released from their mortgages and guarantees by way of recompense for the bank’s alleged disclosure of confidential information about their group of companies. According to their defence, a bitter rival, Mr Robinson, had determined upon a strategy aimed at driving them into insolvency. His attempts had been staved off on a number of occasions however when a bank officer wrongfully disclosed confidential information about the group’s parlous financial position, Mr Robinson was able to use it when he filed for an interlocutory order for the appointment of a provisional liquidator to the group on the ground of general insolvency three days later.

The bank succeeded against the guarantors by arguing:

  1. Even if ANZ did breach obligations as to confidence between banker and customer, the breach had no factual or legal consequences, because:
  • Mr Robinson had already evidenced an intention to wind up the company;
  • Only the customer had standing to seek redress against ANZ for its alleged breach of confidentiality (not the guarantors) and it was now liquidated.
  1. Even if some claim against ANZ  by the guarantors was possible, the guarantors had signed a deed of release, releasing ANZ from any such claims.
  2. Even if  the above two problems were addressed, the entities that were allegedly pushed into insolvency were already hopelessly insolvent and so suffered no damage.

Click here to read the full judgment

Scroll to Top