Welcome to the official website for the Credit Card Class Actions.


Update:

Class Counsel attended before the Courts in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec to approve settlements with National Bank, Visa and Mastercard. The Court’s decisions approving the settlements can be found in the Documents section of this website. The settlement approval decisions have been appealed. Further information about the appeal hearing dates will be posted to this website in the coming weeks.

The Credit Card Class Actions

Class action lawsuits were commenced in British Columbia (the “BC Action”), Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, 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 was certified as a class proceeding as against all Defendants.

The Settlements

Although National Bank of Canada, Visa, and Mastercard deny liability, they have reached three new national settlements with the Plaintiffs (the “National Bank Settlement,” the “Visa Settlement,” and the “Mastercard Settlement,” collectively, the “New Settlements”), subject to approval of the Courts. National Bank of Canada will pay CAD $6 million, and Visa and Mastercard will each pay CAD $19.5 million for a collective total of $45 million (the “Settlement Amounts”) for the benefit of the Settlement Class Members and provide certain cooperation to the Plaintiffs as described in their respective settlement agreements, in exchange for a full release of claims against each of them and their related entities. Visa and Mastercard will also be modifying their respective “no surcharge rules” that prevented merchants from charging a premium on credit card use, on terms set out in greater detail in their respective settlement agreements.

If the New Settlements are approved, the Class Lawyers will ask the Courts to approve the deduction of certain amounts (collectively, the “Court-approved Expenses”) from the Settlement Amounts, including costs incurred to distribute the Notice and process opt-out requests, comments and objections, the approved counsel fee of up to 25% of the recovered amounts, and disbursements.

As the Credit Card Actions have to continue against the remaining Defendants, it is proposed that the amounts remaining from the Settlement Amounts after deduction of all Court-approved Expenses be added to the net proceeds from the Prior Settlements that are held in trust for Settlement Class Members pending receipt of further settlements or further order of the Court at the conclusion of the Credit Card Actions. At such time, a distribution protocol will be developed and submitted to the Courts for approval, and further notice will be provided to you of the proposed distribution system. If you would like to make sure you receive direct notice of any later distribution, contact one of the Class Lawyers.

Certification

Class action proceedings can only be settled on a national basis if they are also certified and authorized as class actions. In order to implement the New Settlements, and separate and apart from the (contested) certification of the BC Action against all Defendants, the Courts have certified and authorized all of the other Credit Card Actions as class proceedings against National Bank of Canada, Visa, and Mastercard for settlement purposes only.

Opting Out

For most Settlement Class Members, the right to opt out of the Credit Card Actions was previously provided in connection with the approval of some of the Prior Settlements and has now expired.

The deadline for Quebec Settlement Class Members and New Merchants to opt out is May 31, 2018. Regardless, all Settlement Class Members can still make their views known about the New Settlements as set out above