Lusaka High Court judge Mwila Chitabo has set October 30, for hearing a case in which First National Bank Zambia Limited (FNB) was sued by Adfinity Advertising and Marketing Limited managing director Mallek Hussein, a Lebanese national, claiming damages for breach of confidentially after his account was used by unknown person in Belgium and other towns.
Hussein sued FNB in January this year, seeking damages for mental distress, anguish, inconvenience, stress, negligence, as well as interest on the amount found due, payable and legal costs.
He stated that sometime in July 2014, he was made to open an account through his former employer Lamise Advertising Limited with FNB upon which a cash deposit of K500 was made on account number 62485743712 and that he never met the bank agent at the time.
Hussein stated that he left employment and was on his own because the company he worked for had been sold to Primedia in December, 2014.
He stated that around September 2017, he approached the bank in an effort to open a personal account and a company account since he had left Lamise and had opened his own account but was informed that he already had an existing active bank account.
Hussein stated that basing on the banks confirmation of an existing bank account, he requested for the account statement and the same was availed to him.
He stated that to his surprise and shock, the account was very active as monies were being deposited into it by unknown people and later withdrawn via ATM card in Belgium and other unknown places.
Hussein further stated that he was never issued with an ATM card by the bank and was therefore, shocked by the bank’s move to issue an ATM Card to another person other than himself being the account holder.
He stated that he had never travelled to Belgium or to other towns where the purported was used to withdraw money from his account.
Hussein stated that despite the card being used abroad, the bank never raised a risk alert to avoid criminal use of such monies by undesirable persons.
But in a defence filed in court, FNB stated that Hussein had not suffered any loss or damages as alleged nor was he entitled to any of the reliefs sought.
The bank also stated that Hussein’s employer Lamise Investments Limited were the ones that opened a savings account on his behalf on July 25, 2014.
But in a reply filed after the bank denied the reliefs Hussein was seeking, the plaintiff stated that it was negligent of the bank to proceed to open an account purportedly for him without conducting due diligence as to the provision of the document, whether they came from him or not.
“The defendant was negligent in its duties to accept indemnity from the purported plaintiff’s employer as the ATM and personal identification number are personal documents and should not be collected by a third party as doing so compromises secrecy and as it turned out the plaintiff never signed for the ATM card or PINS and the account was operated by strangers to the plaintiff within the country and abroad,” he stated.
Hussein further stated that the bank was negligent by giving an ATM card to persons other than the account holder.
“The defendant should have ensured that before an ATM card is used abroad, the customer has activated it by presenting it himself to the bank and that is to ensure safety of the customer’s money and to prevent fraudulent activities as is the case here,” he stated.
“The plaintiff says that he had never seen any bank agent for the purposes of opening a personal account, he therefore, not have met the purported ‘KYC’ [Know Your Customer] requirements for opening an account and if it were so, he would not have approached the defendant’s bank to open a personal account if he had one already. The defendant is estopped from relying on the purported Know Your Customer when they did not know the plaintiff and had never dealt with him.”