Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. v. Westpac Banking Corporation (1988) is one of the famous cases of Australia which has been described about the restitution of Principal and Agent. ANZ is one of the largest banks of market capitalization of Australia after the Westpac Banking Corporation and Commonwealth Bank. The both of the parties are banking companies where ANZ has been carried out their banking business in two places which are St. Albans in Victoria and Martin Place in Sydney N.S.W. There is another company named Commercial Bank of Australia Limited who has been carried out and vested by the Westpac which is convenient by the courts for their entity. In this case, an appeal and a cross appeal has been processed (Cartwright, 2016).
According to the facts, the bank has been agreed to overdraft limits of $70,000 and hence later, the branch manager had discretion where they have to exercise the overdraft accommodation $20,000 with the result that the effective overdraft limit was $90,000. However the amount of $114,158.20 credit has been received by the ANZ's Martin Place branch, through its St. Albans branch, purportedly on behalf of one of its customers by a telephonic conversation. However, a fundamental mistaken of fact has been placed. However, the Westpac itself repay the whole or any part of the overpayment or request that any intervening debit entries to Jakes' account be reversed (Cranston, 2017).
A subsequent internal ANZ memorandum which is in evidence discloses that, by 14 January 1982, ANZ had received from Jakes only one repayment total $2500.00" and that its solicitors had written to Jakes "threatening issue of a Notice under Section 222 of the Companies Act (Cranston, 2017).
In the course of his judgment, Priestley J.A. drew attention to the fact that the Court of Appeal's task in determining the amount which Westpac was liable to repay on the view of the law which they accepted was complicated by a concession made by Westpac to the effect that it was not open to the Court of Appeal to uphold a ground in the notice of appeal which counsel had described as "a Clayton's case point". In the outcome, the decision of the Court of Appeal was to the effect that ANZ was entitled to recover $39,320.72 of the outstanding amount of the overpayment together with interest.
The present appeal is by ANZ from that decision. For its part, Westpac has cross appealed claiming that the primary amount awarded to ANZ should be further reduced by some $22,300.
The issue whether the conceded prima facie liability of Westpac to repay the amount of the overpayment was wholly or partly displaced in the circumstances of the present case by (Cartwright, 2016).subsequent events has itself been confined by the manner in which the case has been conducted in the courts below and in this Court. The prima facie liability to make restitution is imposed by the law on the person who has been unjustly enriched. In the ordinary case of a payment of money, that person will be the payee. However, when the person to whom the payment is directly made receives it as an intermediary (e.g. as agent for a designated principal), there may be uncertainty about the identity of the actual recipient of the benefit at the moment of payment. In the case of David Securities Pty Ltd v Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the High Court has been stated about the affirmative and negative impacts about the mistaken of facts.
Westpac has a good defense to ANZ's claim to the extent that it had, on behalf of Jakes, paid out the proceeds of the telegraphic transfer before it first received notice of ANZ's mistake. Acting on the basis of the concessions made by Westpac in ANZ's favor, Westpac had, by that time, irretrievably paid out $82,978.32 of the overpayment of $100,000 in honoring cheques drawn on it by ANZ. That being so, ANZ's appeal must be dismissed and Westpac's cross appeal seeking that the judgment against it should be reduced to an amount of $17,021.68, plus interest, must be sustained. The appellant must pay the respondent's costs of the appeal to this Court.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. v. Westpac Banking Corporation (1988) 164 CLR 662 21 April 1988
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David Securities Pty Ltd v Commonwealth Bank of Australia
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