The First Department determined that, although using a New York bank for an allegedly fraudulent transaction is sufficient to acquire personal jurisdiction over out-of-state parties, it does not necessarily follow that New York is a convenient forum. Supreme Court properly found New York was not a convenient forum in these actions involving individuals and corporations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a Swiss bank:
… [T]he court properly considered the following matters, among others: (1) none of the parties to either action is a New York citizen or resident or (if an entity) is formed under New York law or has its principal place of business in New York; … (2) the alleged conduct at issue primarily occurred in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland, with the sole New York connection being the fleeting presence of the bribery funds at a nonparty New York correspondent bank while en route from the UAE to Switzerland; (3) the bulk of the relevant documentary evidence is located in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and BVI, and most witnesses are located outside New York and beyond New York’s subpoena power; (4) there is a likelihood that foreign substantive law will govern; (5) there are alternative fora available (Switzerland and the UAE) with greater connection to the subject matter; and (6) in the Pictet [bank] action, Switzerland has an interest in regulating the conduct of a bank operating within its borders … . …
As Supreme Court correctly recognized … “[o]ur state’s interest in the integrity of its banks . . . is not significantly threatened every time one foreign national, effecting what is alleged to be a fraudulent transaction, moves dollars through a bank in New York. . . . New York’s interest in its banking system is not a trump to be played whenever a party to such a transaction seeks to use our courts for a lawsuit with little or no apparent contact with New York” (Mashreqbank PSC v Ahmed Hamad Al Gosaibi & Bros. Co., 23 NY3d 129, 137  … ).
In accordance with Mashreqbank, this Court has declined to disturb the motion court’s discretionary determination that New York is not a convenient forum in cases where the sole connection to New York was the passage of wired funds through a correspondent bank in the state … . Al Rushaid Parker Drilling Ltd. v Byrne Modular Bldgs. L.L.C., 2020 NY Slip Op 01277, First Dept 2-25-20