Landmark UK Supreme Court ruling finds that Barclays had no Quincecare duty of care

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Louise Lanzkron

Dispute Resolution Knowledge & Development Lawyer

The UK Supreme Court has unanimously ruled on Philipp (Respondent) v Barclays Bank UK PLC (Appellant) [2023] UKSC 25, finding that Barclays did not owe a Quincecare duty of care to its customer, who was a victim of authorised push payment (“APP”) fraud. The decision provides some further clarification as to the scope of the Quincecare duty and has been long anticipated for those in the banking and financial services sectors.

Quincecare duty:

The duty, derived from the decision of Steyn J in Barclays Bank plc v Quincecare Ltd [1992] 4 All ER 363, involves a situation where a payment instruction was given to the bank by an agent who was an authorised signatory of the customer’s account but was acting in fraud of the customer.  If the bank were to execute the instruction without making inquiries, and the instruction later proves to have been given without the customer’s authority, the bank will be in breach of the duty as it has made payment outside the scope of the authority from the customer. It is therefore not entitled to debit the payment from the customer’s account.


The position in this case was slightly different to the case upon which the duty was founded and the victim of the fraud was seeking to extend that duty. Philipp and her husband were victims of an APP fraud and as a result instructed Barclays Bank UK PLC to transfer £700,000 to the fraudster’s bank account in the UAE [1] in two instalments. For the first instalment, Philipp’s husband falsely informed the cashier that they had…

Full article available on Disputes +

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