Mount brothers to fight banking ban

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The Independent Online
SURESH and Navin Shah, the brothers who last week failed to overturn a Bank of England decision to disqualify them from owning a bank, may take the case back to court, writes Peter Rodgers.

Yesterday Zaiwalla & Co, their solicitors, said they were considering whether to appeal against a decision by a Banking Act tribunal, which on Friday backed the Bank of England. Appeals are allowed on points of law.

The tribunal decision was the first contested case since the Act came into force six years ago. It has undermined hopes that the Shahs' bank, Mount Banking Corporation, can be revived as a going concern. It is at present in a creditors' voluntary arrangement.

The tribunal's backing of the Bank case against Navin Shah, deputy chairman of Mount, was a much weaker verdict than against his brother. It found Navin Shah might not be fit and proper, mainly on the basis of his general involvement with his brother in the bank.

Though both brothers are considering an appeal, success by only one of them would allow family interests to take control of the bank again.

Sarosh Zaiwalla, senior partner of the solicitors, said: 'The Shah brothers are respectable members of Asian society and the Bank of England should not have made them scapegoats.'

He also said the tribunal had decided not to consider fresh evidence that the Shahs wanted to provide in the hearings and had 'therefore disabled itself in reaching a fully informed, correct and just decision'.

The fresh material included character evidence and new information on issues such as the handling of counterfeit cash found in the bank.