Welcome to the official website for the Credit Card Class Actions.
The Credit Card Actions
Class action lawsuits were commenced in British Columbia (the “BC Action”), Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec (the “QC Action”) and Ontario (collectively, the “Credit Card Actions”) against Visa Canada Corporation (“Visa”), Mastercard International Incorporated (“Mastercard”) and certain banks which issue credit cards (“Issuing Banks”) alleging each of Visa and Mastercard conspired with their Issuing Banks and acquirers in setting the amount of interchange fees and imposing rules restricting merchants’ ability to surcharge or refuse higher cost Visa and Mastercard credit cards. The BC Action and the QC Action were certified/authorized as class proceedings.
The Prior Settlements
There have been a number of partial settlements achieved to date. The Courts have previously approved settlement agreements with Bank of America, Citigroup, Capital One, Desjardins, National Bank, Visa and Mastercard (the “Prior Settlements”). The Prior Settlements have a total value of $68,530,000 plus accrued interest. Information about the Prior Settlements is available here. The net proceeds from the Prior Settlements have been held by the Class Lawyers pending resolution of all remaining claims in the Credit Card Actions.
The New Settlement
Although Royal Bank of Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal and The Bank of Nova Scotia (collectively, the “Settling Defendants”) deny liability, they have collectively entered into a new national settlement with the plaintiffs (the “New Settlement”). The Settling Defendants will collectively pay a total of CAD $120 million (the “Settlement Amount”) for the benefit of the Settlement Class Members in exchange for the dismissal of the Credit Card Actions and other related litigation, and a full release of all claims advanced against each of them and their related entities, including future claims relating to continuing acts or practices that occurred prior to or following the commencement of the Credit Card Actions. The New Settlement is not an admission of liability on the part of the Settling Defendants who deny the allegations, nor has there been any finding of liability by the Courts against them.
Distribution of Net Settlement Proceeds
As the New Settlement is approved, this brings the Credit Card Actions to an end and will allow the distribution of the net settlement proceeds remaining after deduction of all court-approved fees, costs and expenses in respect of the Prior Settlements and the New Settlement (collectively, the “Net Settlement Proceeds”). It is estimated that there will be approximately $131,000,000 available for distribution to Settlement Class Members.
At the Settlement Approval Hearing, the Class Lawyers presented a Distribution Plan for the distribution of the Net Settlement Proceeds. A copy of the Distribution Plan can be found on the “Documents” page of this website.
Certification/Authorization as Class Proceedings for Settlement Purposes
The BC Action and the QC Action were already certified / authorized to proceed as class actions by the Courts, but with some limitations. In order to implement the New Settlement, the Courts have, for settlement purposes only, certified / authorized all of the Credit Card Actions as class proceedings on broader terms against the Settling Defendants.
Who Are The Settlement Class Members?
The court-approved definition of “Settlement Class Member” sets out who can participate in and is bound by the New Settlement, including the release of claims. You are a Settlement Class Member if you accept or accepted Visa credit cards and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment for goods or services and incurred merchant discount fees, including interchange fees, in Canada since March 23, 2001.
The Settlement Class includes Quebec Settlement Class Members. Quebec Settlement Class Members are Quebec resident persons and partnerships who accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment for goods or services and incurred merchant discount fees, including interchange fees, at any time since March 23, 2001. As noted below, Quebec Settlement Class Members have different participation options.
Any legal persons established for a private interest and any partnership resident in Quebec, which at any time between December 17, 2009 and December 17, 2010 had under its direction or control more than 50 persons bound to it by contract of employment, and any legal persons established for a public interest resident in Quebec are not Quebec Settlement Class Members, but are Settlement Class Members in Ontario.
All Settlement Class Members are affected by this notice.
Settlement Approval Hearing
On December 6, 2021, a hearing to approve the New Settlement, the Distribution Plan, a counsel fee of up to 30% of the recovered amounts, and disbursements and other expenses payable from the Settlement Amount occurred. The Courts each released reasons approving the New Settlement, the Distribution Plan, a counsel fee of up to 30% of the recovered amounts, and disbursements and other expenses payable from the Settlement Amount. Copies of the reasons can be found on the “Documents” page of this website.