Supreme Court rules in favour of Barclays in APP fraud case

The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in the case of Philipp v Barclays Bank UK PLC [2023] UKSC 25.

Barclays had appealed a decision from the Court of Appeal that it owed the customer a contractual duty not to carry out their payment instructions if it had reasonable grounds for believing they were being defrauded (the Quincecare duty). The customer in this case was seeking to recover losses of £700,000 suffered as a result of APP fraud.

The Supreme Court has allowed Barclays’ appeal and overturned the Court of Appeal decision. It concluded that provided the customer’s instruction to carry out the payment is clear and given by them personally or by an agent acting with apparent authority, the bank is under no duty to make inquiries to clarify or verify what it must do. Rather, its duty is to execute the instruction – any refusal or failure to do so would breach that duty.

A full decision summary will follow next week.

Laura Wiles