JPMorgan Chase has won a London High Court trial against Nigeria, in which the nation was seeking $1.7 billion in damages over the US investment bank’s role in a disputed 2011 oil deal.
The bank said the judgement reflects its commitment to high professional standards, while Nigeria said it was disappointed with the verdict and will carefully review the judgement before determining its next steps.
The case relates to Shell and Eni’s purchase of Nigeria’s OPL 245 offshore oilfield, with Nigeria claiming JPMorgan was “grossly negligent” in its transfer of funds paid by Shell and Eni to a company with links to Nigeria’s ex-petroleum minister Dan Etete. While Nigeria instructed JPMorgan to make these transfers, the country now claims that Etete was involved in a fraudulent scheme, and that JPMorgan branched its Quincecare duty. This obliges banks to ignore customer instructions if such instruction may support a fraud against the customer.
However, the London High Court ruled that no Quincecare breach had occurred.
In a statement, JPMorgan said the outcome showed “how we are prepared to robustly defend our actions and reputation when they are called into question.”