I normally wouldn’t bother to read a judgment dealing only with costs: what are the chances that it will interest anyone beyond the parties involved? But I’ve changed my mind after reading about a case brought by Standard Bank Namibia against no fewer than 10 respondents, which turned out to be one of a growing number of matters in which big banks use bullying tactics against their own customers. In dealing with the dispute, Namibian deputy judge president Hosea Angula said the only question remaining at the time of judgment was the scale at which the bank should be ordered to pay the costs of the other parties: the usual scale or at a punitive rate to reflect the court’s view that the bank’s behaviour had been arrogant and reprehensible?  Angula said the bank’s legal team showed little or no regard for its opponents’ rights, through conduct that was nothing short of objectionable, unreasonable, unjustifiable and oppressive. A "severe sanction" was appropriate, he said, to show the ...

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