Legal Business

Banking Litigation Insight: ‘The worst case scenario is £200m – litigation is containable’

An unprecedented wave of global enforcement has pushed risks facing banks to once unthinkable proportions. In the follow-up to our banking litigation Insight with Stephenson Harwood, bank counsel discuss managing the biggest risks in global business. Alex Novarese reports.

‘A head of litigation at a bank was saying to me the other day: “I don’t really care about [civil litigation]. If a counterparty has a claim, even a big claim, you instruct your litigators – it’s expensive and you try to control the cost but it’s just a bit of litigation. Worst-case scenario is we may have to write a cheque for £200m but we know the limits of the problem. We don’t really care. It’s containable. It’s predictable.” You would have never heard someone saying something like that ten years ago. But all these issues about reputation, regulation and unquantifiable fines – it’s such a mess. You know you have got to do something about it but you don’t know where it will go.’