Banking litigation – successful ex parte injunction against PostFinance

Nater Dallafior successfully represented a Swiss operating company ("client") against PostFinance. PostFinance closed our client's payment account although the client intended to use the account only for domestic payments in Swiss francs such as salary, social insurance, rent payments etc. PostFinance alleged that its internal business policy could not be adhered to because UK sanctions imposed upon our client's holding company, a UK PLC and former member of the FTSE 100, would make it overly burdensome to operate the account.

Nater Dallafior lodged a claim with the Commercial Court of Berne because, by denying domestic payment services, PostFinance violated its obligation to provide basic payment transaction services to every company domiciled in Switzerland. In addition, Nater Dallafior requested an ex parte injunction for the duration of the proceedings because by the end of August 2022 our client would no longer have been able to pay the salaries.

The Commercial Court of Berne approved the ex parte injunction and obliged PostFinance to continue the business relationship and to maintain the payment account for the duration of the proceedings. It held that according to SECO, there were no indications that the client was under the control of a sanctioned person. In addition, the Commercial Court considered that the client was threatened with a not easily reparable harm ("nicht wieder gutzumachender Nachteil", Article 261 Swiss Civil Procedure Code) due to the lack of another banking relationship for domestic payments in Swiss Francs, and that there was a particular temporal urgency since the client had ongoing payment obligations.

The Nater Dallafior team consisted of Roberto Dallafior and Tobias Thaler.