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International money remitter wins interim injunction against Barclays


On 5 November 2013, Mr Justice Henderson handed down judgment on an application by Dahabshiil Transfer Services Limited for an interim injunction against Barclays Bank plc, requiring Barclays to continue to provide banking services to Dahabshiil pending trial or further order.

Dahabshiil is an international money remitter, and is one of the largest remitters to focus on Africa – in particular, on Somalia. In May 2013, Barclays gave notice to Dahabshiil to terminate the provision of banking facilities. This followed an internal review that Barclays had undertaken.  Dahabshiil issued proceedings against Barclays, claiming that its threatened conduct constituted an abuse of a dominant provision contrary to the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 102 TFEU. Dahabshiil sought interim injunctive relief.

Following a 2 day hearing, Henderson J granted an interim injunction.   He held that there was a serious issue to be tried as to whether the relevant market was (as Dahabshiil contended) the supply of banking services to money remitters in the UK, and as to whether Barclays was dominant in that market.  He was also satisfied that the question of abuse of dominance, and Barclays’ defence of objective justification, were matters to be examined at trial. As to the adequacy of damages and the balance of convenience, he found these clearly to favour the grant of interim relief.

The judgment is here.

Alan Maclean QC and Sarah Love appeared for Dahabshiil, instructed by Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP.

Sarah Ford appeared for Barclays, instructed by Simmons & Simmons LLP.