AmBank seeks to strike out Najib’s suit over accounts disclosure

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: AmBank has filed an application to strike out former prime minister Najib Razak’s lawsuit for alleged negligence in disclosing his bank account details to an unauthorised individual.

The bank and its subsidiary AmIslamic Bank are seeking to annul the suit on grounds that Najib’s lawsuit discloses no reasonable cause of action.

“The plaintiff’s (Najib) claim was filed for collateral purposes, namely to thwart and interfere with the SRC International proceedings instituted against him.

“Thus, this action is an abuse of the court’s process,” AmBank said in its application filed this month.

The bank’s former employee Joanna Yu also sought to strike out the suit in January. Yu was the relationship manager in charge of Najib’s accounts.

She claimed that Najib’s lawsuit was an abuse of court process and to bolster his defence in his SRC International case.

The High Court will hear Yu’s bid to strike out the lawsuit on April 15.

Najib filed the suit against Yu and AmBank last December, claiming that they had breached their duty to protect his privacy under banking laws such as the Financial Services Act and the Banking and Financial Institution Act.

Najib alleged that Yu had communicated the details of four of his five bank accounts to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, who he said was not the authorised person to manage the accounts.

He also claimed that Yu had acted on Low’s advice such as to use alternative names for his accounts ending with the numbers 694, 880, 898 and 906, to seek advice on approving cheques under these four accounts, and to take active steps to hide the bank accounts’ statements from him.

“Due to the bank’s and Yu’s negligence in protecting the accounts’ privacy, the unauthorised individual manipulated the plaintiff’s accounts without his knowledge.

“This caused political attacks against the account holder and subsequently the account holder was charged under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the Penal Code and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, or Amla, in the SRC case,” Najib said, referring to his SRC International case.

He is seeking aggravated and special damages from Yu and the bank.