In R (on the application of Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office) v (1) R (2) Lloyds TSB Plc – Lawtel 22.11.07 the Administrative Court held that a bank was in breach of a freezing order where it had moved money from an ordinary current account specified in the order into two other interest-bearing accounts.
The particular bank account was specified in the order for a purpose. The bank's decision to change that identification without the consent of the applicant or the court was a clear breach by the respondent bank and respondent individual of the order. The bank clearly did a deliberate act in arranging the new account holdings, and took upon itself the risk that what it did would interfere with the course of justice. On the facts there was no actual interference with justice, but the bank took the risk and that was a contempt of court.
However, it was clear that no harm had been done to the applicant. In fact it had profited by the arrangements that had been put in place. In all the circumstances it was right not to make any order for costs against the respondents.