KUALA LUMPUR: A senior lawyer has filed a negligence suit against an overseas-based bank over the withdrawal of RM200,000 from his account by an unknown third party last year.
Manjeet Singh Dhillon, 80, wants HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd to pay him the said sum as the bank’s alleged negligence had resulted in fraudulent withdrawals.
The former Malaysian Bar president is seeking RM200,000 in special damages and general damages as a result of suffering mental distress, hurt and anxiety as a result of the fraudulent transactions.
Manjeet, who filed the suit in the sessions court here on March 28, said he and his ex-wife had retained a joint account with HSBC since 2005.
In his statement of claim, Manjeet said he was a “premier account holder” with the defendant in Malaysia and its affiliates in India, Singapore and the United Kingdom, which provided value-added services.
He said on Jan 2 last year, he opened another independent account with the bank, which was separate from the joint account.
Manjeet said he deposited RM200,000 into this new account and that this sum was the minimum deposit needed to maintain the premier account.
He said there was no transaction conducted under the new account in order to keep the RM200,000 intact.
As of September last year, the amount, inclusive of interest, stood at RM205,628.50.
Manjeet said he conducted two small transactions between Oct 2 and 3 amounting to RM227 to keep the account active, as requested by the defendant.
He also said the bank had raised the online withdrawal limit of his account without his permission.
On Oct 14, within a span of 20 minutes (between 2.31pm and 2.51pm), the bank had allowed 12 fraudulent transactions totalling RM200,000, he claimed.
After the fraudulent transactions, the bank notified him of the money withdrawn by way of text messages.
Manjeet said that was also the first time he was informed by the bank of the fraudulent transactions.
The plaintiff said he took the position that the bank did not get his consent in the said fraudulent transactions as the bank did not send him a transaction authorisation code (TAC).
Manjeet said he neither had a relationship with nor knowledge of the recipient of the money who had withdrawn the amount.
He said the bank, until today, had failed or omitted to respond to his letter of demand.
Manjeet said the bank owed him a duty of care in transferring money from his account and, therefore, had been negligent.