Tag Archives: Birkenfeld

The Lives of Others – The true significance of Bradley Birkenfeld

What is  the relationship between a bank and a customer?

Although Bradley Birkenfeld never became famous as a banker,  he was a banker.

In most cases banks do NOT owe a fiduciary relationship to their customers.   The duty owed by a banker  to a customer now  depends on the nature of the relationship. Some people are mere  customers or creditors of banks. Those  who have “private banking relationships” may be entitled to a higher standard of care. There are clear cases where a bank does owe a fiduciary duty to a client.  A recent article  in the Ottawa Law  Review suggests  that the nature of the relationship will  now be determined  by the specific facts.  When a bank is giving investment advice, the easier  it is to establish a fiduciary relationship.

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