Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd v Yau Chi Wing

CourtDistrict Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date26 September 2014
Judgement NumberDCCJ4233/2013
Subject MatterCivil Action
DCCJ4233/2013 STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (HONG KONG) LTD v. YAU CHI WING

DCCJ4233/2013

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NO 4233 OF 2013

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BETWEEN

STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (HONG KONG) LIMITED Plaintiff

and

YAU CHI WING Defendant

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Before : Deputy District Judge Catrina Lam in Chambers
Date of Hearing : 16 September 2014
Date of Judgment : 26 September 2014

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JUDGMENT

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Introduction

1. I have before me an appeal by the defendant (“Mr Yau”) against the order of Master WY Ho dated 28 May 2014 whereby she entered judgment under Order 14 in favour of the plaintiff, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (“SCB”), in the sum of HK$251,667.58.

2. This case arises from a common telemarketing promotion practice used by banks offering to convert the available credit limit on credit cards of existing cardholders into a cash advance or loan, repayable by instalments. The application is usually made orally over the telephone. By agreeing to participate in the promotion, the cardholder is deemed to have accepted all its terms and conditions, as well as the relevant credit card cardholder agreement.

3. In the present case, Mr Yau has since August 2009 been issued with a credit card known as Titanium MasterCard No 5400-3415-0400-3594 (“Titanium MasterCard”) by SCB. The Titanium MasterCard has been regularly used by Mr Yau since then. It was at all material times governed by the terms and conditions of SCB’s Titanium Credit Card Cardholder Agreement (the “Card Agreement”) from time to time in force.

4. SCB’s case is simple enough. On or about 21 March 2012, Mr Yau verbally agreed over the telephone to participate in SCB’s “Credit Card Instalment Credit Program” pursuant to which HK$238,200 (the “Credit Amount”) was advanced to Mr Yau and credited to his designated account with Bank of China (the “Loan”). This sum was made up of the available credit limit on his Titanium MasterCard plus an additional sum of HK$45,000 lent by SCB to Mr Yau. The principal was to be repaid by 36 monthly instalments of HK$6,616.66 together with a monthly handling fee of HK$1,881.78 (ie 0.79% of the Credit Amount) (collectively, the “Instalment Amount”). Repayment terms and interest were set out in the Terms and Conditions of SCB’s Credit Card Instalment Credit Program (the “Terms and Conditions”). A copy of the Terms and Conditions in English was sent to Mr Yau at his request. In essence, each Instalment Amount would be charged to the Titanium MasterCard. No interest was payable if full repayment of the credit card’s statement balance is made on or before the payment due date of each month. Otherwise, the finance charge for cash advance under the Card Agreement would apply.

5. The total outstanding balance due on the Titanium MasterCard together with interest accrued was HK$251,667.58 as at 16 October 2013.

6. For the purposes of this appeal, the defendant applied for leave to use his 3rd affidavit dated 4 September 2014 exhibiting a credit report dated 2 September 2014 prepared by TransUnion Limited (the “Credit Report”) as additional evidence. The reception of further evidence on appeal from a master’s decision is not automatic, albeit common. The court has a discretion. Bearing in mind that an appeal from a master’s decision to a judge in chambers is by way of rehearing as...

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