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High Court strikes out “de-banking” claim against Revolut


The High Court today handed down judgment striking out a “de-banking” claim as an abuse of process in Uzbekov v Revolut [2024] EWHC 98 (KB).

In April 2020, Revolut had closed Mr Uzbekov’s account on the basis of adverse media coverage suggesting that he was suspected of money laundering. Mr Uzbekov brought a claim for breach of contract in the King’s Bench Division seeking declaratory relief. Mr Uzbekov’s evidence was that he was litigating an important “de-banking” claim to hold financial institutions to account and to vindicate his reputation.

Revolut applied for summary judgment and/or to strike out the claim on the basis that:

  1. There was no real prospect of Mr Uzbekov obtaining declaratory relief as it would serve no useful purpose under the principles in FSA v Rourke [2002] CP Rep 14 and Rolls-Royce [2010] 1 WLR 318; and
  2. The proceedings were wasteful and disproportionate, and therefore an abuse of process, under Jameel v Dow Jones [2005] QB 946.

The High Court (Mr Justice Chamberlain) granted Revolut’s application and struck out the claim:

  1. Even though a breach of contract claim is actionable per se, that is subject to the Court’s powers to guard against abuse of process: [36]-[41].
  2. The declarations sought in this case would not serve a useful purpose. The declarations concerned a historic breach of contract where there was no ongoing relationship between the parties. The declarations would also not serve to vindicate Mr Uzbekov’s reputation (who should have proceeded in defamation against the media publishers): [42]-[49].
  3. It was not in the public interest for declarations to be granted; rather, it was for the financial services regulator to continue its work with respect to “de-banking”: [50].

Accordingly, the Court concluded that the “game was not worth the candle” and the claim ought to be struck out: [53]-[54].

The judgment is here.

Tony Singla KC and Aarushi Sahore appeared for Revolut (instructed by Osborne Clarke).