UK's Supreme Court confirms PrivatBank claim to be heard in London

FILE PHOTO: The logo of PrivatBank is pictured outside its branch in Kiev, Ukraine December 18, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV (Reuters) - The United Kingdom Supreme Court has decided that a $3 billion claim by Ukraine’s largest lender PrivatBank against its former owners can be heard in a court in London.

PrivatBank won an appeal in London last year that allowed it to pursue claims against its former owners Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov.

Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov and six English and BVI companies had asked the Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom for civil cases, for permission to appeal against the October judgment.

“The court ordered that permission to appeal be refused in respect of each application because the applications do not raise an arguable point of law which ought to be considered at this time,” the Supreme Court said in a court order dated April 6.

PrivatBank’s ex-owner Kolomoisky declined to comment.

The case is part of a protracted legal battle between the Ukrainian government and PrivatBank’s former owners after the lender was nationalised in 2016 as part of a clean-up of the country’s banking system.

Ukrainian authorities allege a $5.6 billion hole was left in PrivatBank’s finances due to its previous lending practices. This is denied by Kolomoisky, who has taken legal action in Ukrainian courts seeking to overturn the nationalisation.

“The Bank is confident that it will ultimately succeed in recovering the sum of more than US$3 billion claimed in the proceedings,” PrivatBank said in a separate statement on Tuesday.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Karin Strohecker; Editing by Alexander Smith