PT Toba Surimi Industries Wins Lawsuit Against HSBC
Monday, September 10, 2012
Novrieza Rahmi, Mahinda Arkyasa
On 6 September 2012, South Jakarta District Court (Court) granted a decision in favor of PT Toba Surimi Industries (TSI) in a lawsuit against Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). The Court stated that HSBC’s actions were unlawful when HSBC blocked TSI’s account, which amounted to USD 280,608.74.
TSI previously filed a lawsuit against HSBC on the same issue in 2010 and won in both district and appeal courts. However, HSBC displayed no intention to return the funds, despite the fact that TSI issued two warning letters on 30 June 2011 and 8 July 2011. As a result, in December 2011, TSI filed a second lawsuit at South Jakarta District Court.
The Court asserted that HSBC’s actions caused a considerable loss to TSI. “According to Article 1369 of the Indonesian Civil Code, the defendant (HSBC) must pay for the loss suffered by the plaintiff (TSI),” said Pranoto, chairman of the panel, on Thursday (6/9).
Consequently, the Court ordered HSBC to return USD 280,608.74, which had been frozen, and to pay an annual fine of 6% from that amount. In addition, HSBC must pay IDR 3 million in daily fines starting from the day the decision was issued until the funds are returned.
Aside from having to return TSI’s funds and paying the stipulated fines, HSBC is also ordered to restore TSI’s status within the Debtor Information System (SistemInformasiDebitur – SID) of Bank Indonesia.
TSI’s counsel David Tobing applauded the Court’s decision to grant most of TSI’s demands (except the demand for HSBC to pay costs). He also urged HSBC to comply with the decision in order to preserve its integrity and reputation within the banking industry.
Meanwhile, HSBC’s attorney Rico Situmorang refused to give any comments or explanations on the case and on any legal action that will be taken as a response to the Court’s decision. “We will discuss it internally to decide how we will react,” he stated.