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Revolut sued for closing account of late Russian oligarch’s son-in-law

Ildar Uzbekov, a Kazakhstan-born British citizen, is suing the company for breach of contract after it closed his account in April 2020 and cancelled £11,000 worth of payments, allegedly without explanation.
Ildar Uzbekov, a Kazakhstan-born British citizen, is suing the company for breach of contract after it closed his account in April 2020 and cancelled £11,000 worth of payments, allegedly without explanation.

The son-in-law of a late Russian oligarch is mounting legal action against fintech Revolut for “unlawfully” closing his account, the High Court in London heard on Wednesday.

Ildar Uzbekov, a Kazakhstan-born British citizen, is suing the company for breach of contract after it closed his account in April 2020 and cancelled £11,000 worth of payments, allegedly without explanation.

He claims the closure apparently resulted from “factual mistakes made by Revolut, a coordinated media campaign against him and Revolut’s approach to these issues”, Mr Justice Chamberlain was told, according to a Press Association report.

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The court heard that Uzbekov – who is the son-in-law of the late mining magnate Alexander Shchukin – managed to recover the £11,000 and is not seeking damages.

Patrick Green KC, who represents Uzbekov, said in written submissions that his client sought “what amounts to a correction of the factual record as well as a finding regarding Revolut’s breach of contract, to vindicate his reputation in that regard”.

Green accused Revolut of “stonewalling” Uzbekov after freezing the account and causing him “significant distress and inconvenience”.

Revolut has previously called Uzbekov’s allegations “unmeritorious” and the firm is making a bid for the case to be struck out as an abuse of process.

Tony Singla KC, representing the company, told the court that the lawsuit “appears to be motivated by the fact that the claimant has experienced numerous bank account closures in the UK”.

In written submissions, Singla said Uzbekov’s claim was “entirely distinct” from the definition of “debanking”, which “concerns situations where a customer’s free speech rights, for example concerning the expression of political views, have been curtailed through the closure of retail bank accounts”.

Singla added that Revolut believed keeping Uzbekov’s account “might damage its reputation and goodwill” amid suspicion from financial investigators that he may have been involved in money laundering.

“Mr Uzbekov suggests that he is concerned that the closure of his account is linked to discriminatory attitudes against people of Russian origin. This is a baseless suggestion,” Singla told the court.

The hearing is expected to conclude today, with a decision at a later date.

Revolut declined to comment when approached by City A.M.