Justice Evans-Lombe said Deloitte & Touche Singapore were only responsible for a sum in the region of £1.5m, a tiny fraction of the £200m claimed by the bank. The judge and said the immediate cause of the collapse was the unauthorised trading of Leeson – then general manager of Baring Futures (Singapore) – on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange.
D&T Singapore was the auditor of BFS in 1992 and 1993 and the claim against it was the last in a catalogue of claims which originally totalled £1bn.
Barings collapsed in 1995 with debts of £791m following the activities of Leeson, who was arrested and then spent six and a half years in a Singapore jail for fraud.
In June this year, the bank claimed something of a hollow victory when D&T Singapore was branded negligent.
The 10-month trial, which ended in March, has already cost an estimated £5m in legal fees.
BFS and two of its parent companies sued its auditors, Deloitte & Touche (Singapore), Coopers & Lybrand (London) and Coopers & Lybrand (Singapore).
The claims against the two Coopers firms were settled on undisclosed terms, soon after the trial began in 2001. The claims by Barings’ parent companies against Deloitte & Touche were then struck out.
Leeson was released from jail in June 2001
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