NFCorp vs Public Bank trial to resume in August

NFCorp says Public Bank failed to protect the confidentiality of its customer accounts.


The High Court today set August 11 and 12 for the continued hearing of the suit brought by National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) against Public Bank Berhad.

The court would also determine on March 31 whether the trial could resume instead on June 8 and 9.

NFCorp, its related companies, its directors, including its chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail, allege that Public Bank failed to protect the confidentiality of its customer accounts as promised in its bank charter, resulting in the detriment and collapse of their businesses.

The plaintiffs also allege that PKR’s Rafizi Ramli had in a news conference on March 7, 2012, “lied, distorted and misrepresented to the media and the public” that Salleh had taken eight bank loans for the purchase of properties at KL Eco City at the peril of a government loan deposit placed at Public Bank.

At a hearing in December 2014, Salleh testified, “The PKR news conference would not have been possible but for the bank’s breach of its duty of confidentiality owed to NFCorp and the plaintiffs in this suit.”

Rafizi told the media that eight loans were taken and that Salleh had difficulty in servicing repayments of the loans, and that there was a likelihood that a government loan deposit placed at Public Bank would be compromised.

Salleh told the court that no loans had been taken from Public Bank for the purchase of the eight KL Eco City office lots.

In producing the leaked banking documents, the court was told, the opposition had been able to influence a roomful of media journalists and subsequently a whole nation of purported wrongdoing by NFCorp and its directors.

“The leak and publication had angered the general public and alarmed the authorities,” Salleh said. “Five days later, I was charged and two days later, the authorities under AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering Act) seized my companies’ assets that were placed with Public Bank.

“The impact from the leak, news conference, news publication, charges and asset seizures were reported in more than 110 media publications. As a consequence, my thriving business at NFCorp and our group of companies, was crippled and collapsed.

“What made it even worse was Public Bank did not come out with a statement to clarify that no loans had been taken from it for the eight KL Eco City properties. Nor did it clarify to say that no government deposit placed at Public Bank was in jeopardy.”