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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Bank awarded 73m in BCCI costs
BCCI sign
The BCCI case was the longest and most expensive UK commercial trial
The Bank of England has won costs of 73.6m ($136.9m) from the liquidators of the collapsed lender BCCI.

The award brings to an end one of the most expensive cases in UK legal history after Deloitte lost a marathon court case against the Bank last year.

The Bank had considered seeking even greater amounts from Deloitte to cover the costs of the 12-year legal tussle, but that would have meant more delay.

A Bank spokesman said that this final settlement was "an excellent result".

He added that the settlement would allow the Bank to "draw a final line under the case".

A spokesman for the liquidators declined to comment.

Historic case

The award was less than the 80m the Bank had sought in costs after Deloitte dropped its 850m claim in November, ending the first case ever to be brought against the UK central bank.

1972: Luxembourg-based BCCI opens branch in London
1985: Price Waterhouse investigates BCCI losses
1987: Luxembourg asks for help to regulate BCCI
1988: Tampa branch of BCCI closed after money-laundering charges
1990: Price Waterhouse says BCCI needs 1.8bn rescue
1991: BCCI closed down by international regulators
1992: Bingham report criticises Bank of England's role
1993: Liquidators issue writ against Bank of England
1997: Labour moves banking supervision to FSA
2004: Court case begins
October 2005: Bank rebuffs settlement move from liquidators
November 2005: Liquidators drop 1bn damages claim lawsuit
June 2006: Bank of England awarded 73m in legal costs

BCCI collapsed in 1991 owing more than $16bn. It is thought to be the world's biggest bank fraud.

The liquidators Deloitte sought damages of 1bn for BCCI creditors, claiming the Bank of England failed to protect investors.

It dropped the case last November after a High Court judgement argued that prolonging the action was not in the best interests of creditors.

'A farce'

In April, the judge in the case, which began in 2004, attacked the lawsuit, branding it a "farce" that "had the capacity to damage the reputation of our legal system".

The case became notorious for its length, the number of witnesses called and the complexity of its arguments.

Opening statements in the case took six months in their own right.

About 6,500 people lost money when BCCI failed in 1991, including small investors and public bodies including 28 local authorities.

The Bank always denied that it had been wilfully negligent in its supervisory duties.

The Bank's legal costs exceeded 70m, while Deloitte incurred costs of about 38m.

Judge calls BCCI case a 'farce'
12 Apr 06 |  Business
BoE rejects 73m BCCI costs offer
30 Jan 06 |  Business
BCCI liquidators drop 1bn case
02 Nov 05 |  Business
BCCI's big day in court
13 Jan 04 |  Business
Bank told to release BCCI files
02 Mar 04 |  Business
Bank of England accused over BCCI
13 Jan 04 |  Business

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