December 27, 2013, 3:10 pm -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- JS Bank Limited has won a preliminary injunction against Transparency International e.V. in Germany restraining Transparency International e.V. from claiming and/or distributing or, respectively causing others to claim and/or distribute, with reference to JS Bank and its purchase of the Pakistan operations of HSBC Bank, that HSBC received any payment regarding this transaction and that such payments may have been illegal as falsely claimed by Transparency International Pakistan in a letter to the Governor of the Bank of England subsequently published on the Pakistan website.
In case of non-compliance with this injunction Transparency International e.V.may face a fine of up to Euro 250,000 or imprisonment. This preliminary injunction was granted by the District Court of Berlin (Landgericht Berlin, file number 27 O 689/13) without hearing Transparency International e.V., Transparency International filed an objection against the injunction and an oral hearing will take place in January. The court ordered Transparency to immediately state the reasons for their objection. As a copy of the letter to the Governor of the Bank of England is still available on the website of the Pakistan Chapter of Transparency International, JS Bank has applied for a fine to be imposed on Transparency International e.V. for non-compliance with the injunction. Transparency International has a right to reply to that application before the court makes its decision.
Transparency International e.V. is a German civil law association that acts as the umbrella organization of an international network of so called “National Chapters” established under the respective domestic laws. Transparency International Pakistan , a trust under Pakistan law, is such a National Chapter.
The court did not state any reasons of their own for granting the injunction but merely referred to the arguments JS Bank had brought forward in their application. JS Bank had argued that whilst Transparency International Pakistan has its own legal personality (plus its own website) distinct from that of the Berlin based umbrella organization, the latter was nevertheless liable for the actions of its National Chapters as the charter of Transparency International e.V. provides that the society, at the national level, acts through its National Chapters. Therefore, so the argument, Transparency International Pakistan must be seen as a representative of the umbrella organization in the sense of the law. JS Bank had further argued that the umbrella organization had adopted the statements made on its Pakistan National Chapter's website via a general web link on their own site.
JS Bank intends to continue to pursue the maximum remedies under the law for damages it has suffered due to these false allegations.
JS Bank is of the opinion that this case raises the question whether the rules of corporate governance propagated by this respected organization are always adhered to by all its National Chapters.
JS Bank is one of Pakistan's fastest growing banks that was formed in 2006 through the merger of American Express Bank Limited's Pakistan branches and the Jahangir Siddiqui Investment Bank Limited (formerly Citicorp Investment Bank Limited).