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

The Credit Card Class Actions

Class action lawsuits were commenced in British Columbia (the “BC Action”), Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario alleging that Visa, MasterCard and a number of large credit card-issuing banks have participated in a conspiracy to increase or maintain the fees paid by merchants on every credit card transaction.

Visa and MasterCard, along with the card-issuing banks and the company that processes the payment, take a percentage fee each time a customer pays with a credit card. The claim alleges that Visa and MasterCard rules force merchants to accept every Visa or MasterCard credit card, even if those cards carry high fees for the merchant. The claim also alleges that these rules prevent merchants from charging more for payments with premium cards that carry a higher fee. The action seeks to recover interchange fees that Visa, MasterCard, and the banks are alleged to have collected illegally from merchants.

You may be eligible to participate in one of the actions if you accepted Visa 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 Settlements

National settlement agreements have been approved with the defendants Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup and Desjardins. Under the terms of the settlement agreements, Bank of America has paid $7,750,000, Capital One has paid $4,250,000, Citigroup has paid $1,630,000 and Desjardins has paid $9,900,000 for the benefit of the Settlement Class Members. Court approved class counsel fees of 25% and disbursements were deducted from the settlement amounts. The settlement amounts are being held in trust for class members pending receipt of further settlements or awards that may justify a distribution effort. At such time, a distribution protocol will be created and submitted to the Courts for approval, and further notice will be provided to class members.

Certification

The BC Action is the more advanced proceeding, and was certified as a class proceeding as against all defendants except for the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec (“Desjardins”).

Additionally, in order to implement the settlement agreements, the Courts have certified/authorized the actions in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario against Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup and Desjardins for settlement purposes only. The litigation is continuing against all other defendants.

Opting Out

The deadline to opt-out of the class actions in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario has passed. You can no longer opt out of the BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario actions.

Due to differences in the Quebec regime, further opportunities to opt out of the Quebec action will be provided if and when the Quebec action is authorized as a class action against some or all of the remaining defendants.