One billion dollar lawsuit
pits BankMed against a client
Oil trader filed in New York and Beirut
BankMed has pushed back in response to a media report that a lawsuit was filed by one of its clients.
IMMS Limited has claimed that the bank is refusing to allow it to recuperate $1 billion it had previously deposited with the bank.
BankMed said it has learned through an article published by Reuters of the filing on 22 November 2019 by IMMS Limited of a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court. The bank denied the accusations reported in the media as being included in the lawsuit.
IMMS, said in its lawsuit that it had instructed BankMed to return a $1 billion deposit on Nov. 8, 2019. BankMed responded on Nov. 12 saying it was terminating all of IMMS’s credit facilities “due to the material adverse change in the economic condition of Lebanon and the Lebanese financial market”, according to the court filing.
At the same time, BankMed refused to release the $1 billion deposit, prompting IMMS to file the case in the United States on Nov. 22, according to the court filing. BankMed said the $1 billion is a blocked deposit by instructions of IMMS maturing in about two years from now. The bank said it found that between Oct. 30 and Nov. 12, 2019 “material breaches of contract and attempts by IMMS to direct funds due to BankMed overseas. BankMed opposed such attempts by IMMS and took appropriate actions.”
The bank said: "As per the contracts, the relationship between BankMed and IMMS is subject to Lebanese law and to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Lebanese courts. IMMS has already initiated a claim in Beirut on November 14, 2019 and a hearing has been set in December 2019. BankMed will submit the appropriate responses to the Lebanese court.”
IMMS is incorporated in Belize and has offices in London and Singapore. It is headed by Murtaza Lakhani (CEO). The company trades European, Middle Eastern and Asian oil and oil products. IMMS started working with BankMed in November 2017 by placing short-term deposits for up to nine months earning annual interest rates of up to 6.5 percent. IMMS is represented by New York law firm Meister Seelig & Fein.
Date Posted: Nov 28, 2019