BGPartner wins important lawsuit against PostFinance at the High Court of Berne

Banking and financial markets law: In the pilot case of a PostFinance customer against PostFinance, the question is whether the customer must accept a negative balance on his account that arose due to a software error with the payment processor of a PostFinance partner (online casino). The case already made headlines more than two years ago and has now been decided by the Higher Court of the Canton of Bern.

Specifically, the present case concerns amounts that were transferred from the PostFinance account to a gaming account but were not debited directly. Customers thus believed that their PostFinance balance was still in the black; they played with money they did not actually have. After discovering the glitch with the online casino’s payment processor, PostFinance debited the pending orders in one fell swoop, driving around 1,000 online gamblers in Switzerland into partly massive negative balances.

The Regional Court of Bern – Mittelland ruled on July 26, 2022 that all debits that violated the agreed overdraft limit had been made unlawfully, which is why PostFinance had no claim for reimbursement regarding the negative balances. The court of first instance accused PostFinance of a gross breach of duty.

PostFinance appealed against this decision to the High Court of the Canton of Berne. The High Court has now confirmed the decision of the Regional Court of Bern – Mittelland in a decision dated May 17, 2023 (with slightly different reasoning in procedural points), but in the result in full.
The case was conducted on behalf of BGPartner by Kathrin Straub (Of Counsel).

Kathrin Straub
BGPartner Ltd
+41 31 329 55 55

Kathrin Straub

BGPartner Ltd

+41 31 329 55 66