A UK law firm is pursuing claims against Metro Bank Plc for the unlawful restriction of bank accounts linked to British-based Iranian nationals.
Law firm Ronald Fletcher Baker claims Metro Bank restricted the bank accounts of Iranian and British nationals and British companies with Iranian directors without notice and without explanation.
It has investigated 17 cases between May 20th 2019 and September 5th 2019, during which some of the claimants were unable to access funds or banking facilities. None were found to have acted improperly and most of the accounts have since been closed.
Ronald Fletcher Baker is seeking all available remedies from Court for its clients including appropriate declarations regarding Metro Bank’s breaches of law, compensation, interest, and legal costs.
Rokhsareh Vahid, Sanctions and Banking Specialist, at Ronald Fletcher Baker said that she is aware of “more than fifty other cases” of Metro Bank allegedly restricting and/or abruptly closing the accounts of individuals and businesses with links to Iran.
She said: “I have heard from dozens of Iranian and Iranian British nationals whose accounts have been restricted by Metro Bank Plc without notice or explanation. I have corresponded with Metro Bank in relation to many of these individuals in order to resolve these issues without litigation. It is unfortunate that we have had to issue proceedings on behalf of 17 claimants at this stage. We will consider adding other claimants as this matter progresses.
“The negative impact of a bank account restriction should not be understated. Many of the claimants did not have access to their funds for several months and many continue to have no access to their funds since May 2019. One can imagine how difficult it would be for individuals to meet their financial responsibilities when their account is suddenly restricted without an explanation and the restriction continues for so long. Some claimants are businesses who have faced substantial losses and have had to lay off employees as a result of a restriction that lasted for about two months, without any explanation. Our clients are all UK residents and they have made it clear to Metro Bank PLC that they did not use their accounts in an unlawful or illegitimate manner. Metro Bank has not alleged that any of the claimants were involved in any illegal or illegitimate activities and it has released the restrictions on some accounts during this process, which effectively confirms that our clients were not involved in any wrongdoing.”
Rokhsareh Vahid has acted on a variety of matters pertaining to Iran and Iranians living abroad. She has successfully executed hundreds of cases on behalf of individuals and businesses against high street British banks for bank account closures and restrictions and has assisted businesses in relation to their trade with Iran in line with US, EU, and UK sanctions. Rokhsareh Vahid conducts her cases with David Burns, a partner in the firm’s litigation department.
Founded in 1950, Ronald Fletcher Baker employs 80 staff with 62 legal professionals at its four established offices in the City of London (Old Street), the West End (Baker Street), Manchester and Istanbul, and additional Russia, Ukraine and CIS, and Iran Desks. The firm acts for medium to large national and international companies, financial institutions, domestic and international governments, high net worth individuals and substantial corporate investors, many of whom are based overseas.
Notes to editors:
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has been providing expert advice for over seventy years, from its offices in the City of London, the West End, Manchester, and internationally via its office in Istanbul and its Russia, Ukraine & CIS Desk. The firm has considerable experience acting for domestic and international governments, medium to large national and international companies, financial institutions, high net worth individuals and substantial corporate investors many of whom are based overseas. The firm's core values centre around having a real commitment to protecting your interest and providing you with the best possible advice. Our service promises to be professional, responsive and competitive.
For further information in relation to this matter, please contact Ms. Rokhsareh Vahid by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.