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Canadian FX Price-Fixing Class Action

www.canadianfxnationalclassaction.ca


Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is the Class Action about?

Class action lawsuits in Ontario and Quebec allege an unlawful conspiracy to fix prices in the foreign exchange market (the “FX Market”). Beginning at least as early as 2003 and continuing through 2013, it is alleged that the Defendants communicated directly with each other to coordinate their: (i) fixing of spot prices; (ii) controlling and manipulating FX benchmark rates; and (iii) exchanging key confidential customer information in an effort to trigger client stop loss orders and limit orders. The Defendants’ alleged conspiracy affected dozens of currency pairs, including the U.S. and Canadian dollar (USD/CAD) currency pair, which is one of the world’s highest volume trading currency pairs. Due to the importance of spot prices, it is alleged that the Defendants’ alleged conspiracy impacted all manner of FX instruments, including those trading both over-the-counter and on exchanges.

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2. Who are the Settlement Class Members?

In Canada outside of Quebec, you are included in the Settlement Class if:
  • you are a person in Canada who, between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2013, entered into an FX Instrument1 either directly or indirectly through an intermediary, and/or purchased or otherwise participated in an investment or equity fund, mutual fund, hedge fund, pension fund or any other investment vehicle that entered into an FX Instrument and you did not opt-out of the lawsuit on or before December 5, 2016.

In Quebec, you are included in the Settlement Class if:

  • you are a person in Quebec who, between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2013, entered into an FX Instrument1 either directly or indirectly through an intermediary, and/or purchased or otherwise participated in an investment or equity fund, mutual fund, hedge fund, pension fund or any other investment vehicle that entered into an FX Instrument and you did not opt-out of the lawsuit on or before December 5, 2016.

1FX Instruments” includes FX spot transactions, outright forwards, FX swaps, FX options, FX futures contracts, options on FX futures contracts, and other instruments traded in the FX Market.

Excluded from the class are the Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates; provided, however, that Investment Vehicles are not excluded from the class.

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3. What Settlements have been reached?

Court approved settlements have been reached with the following Defendants:

Settled Defendants Settlement Amount
UBS AG, UBS Securities LLC and UBS Bank (Canada) $4,950,000
BNP Paribas Group, BNP Paribas North America, Inc., BNP Paribas (Canada), and BNP Paribas $4,500,000
Bank of America Corporation, Bank of America, N.A., Bank of America Canada, and Bank of America National Association $6,500,000
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Goldman Sachs Canada Inc. $6,750,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co., J.P. Morgan Bank Canada, J.P. Morgan Canada, and JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association $11,500,000
Citigroup Inc., Citibank, N.A., Citibank Canada, and Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc. $21,000,000
Barclays Bank PLC, Barclays Capital Inc., and Barclays Capital Canada Inc. $19,677,205.88
HSBC Holdings PLC, HSBC Bank PLC, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and HSBC Bank Canada $15,500,000
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, RBS Securities, Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland N.V., and Royal Bank of Scotland plc $13,220,000
Standard Chartered plc $900,000
The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (Canada) $450,000
Société Générale S.A., Société Générale (Canada) and Société Générale $1,800,000

The settlement funds are being held in interest-bearing Guaranteed Investment Certificates for the benefit of Settlement Class Members (less court-approved counsel fees and disbursements). In addition to the above-noted monetary benefits, each of the above-listed settlements requires the Settled Defendants to provide cooperation and/or certain documents and information to the Plaintiffs in the continued prospection of the Canadian proceedings.

The Canadian proceedings continue against Credit Suisse Group AG, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Credit Suisse AG, Credit Suisse Securities (Canada) Inc, Deutsche Bank AG, Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley Canada Limited, Royal Bank of Canada, and RBC Capital Markets LLC.

The settlements are a compromise of disputed claims and the Defendants do not admit any wrongdoing or liability.

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4. How will the Settlement funds be distributed?

Hearings were held in Ontario and Quebec during which Class Counsel obtained court approval of a protocol for distributing the aggregate settlement funds, plus accrued interest, less a reserve fund, court approved legal fees and other expenses (the “Distribution Protocol”). The reserve fund will be held in a trust account for the benefit of Settlement Class Members. Class Counsel applied to and received approval from the Ontario and Quebec courts to have the reserve funds applied against future disbursements and/or adverse costs awards.

A copy of the Distribution Protocol is available on the Documents section of this website or from Class Counsel.

Although settlements have only been reached with certain Defendants, Settlement Class Members can make claims for transactions with any Defendant or other financial institution, provided they entered into an FX Instrument, either directly or indirectly through an intermediary, and/or purchased or otherwise participated in an investment or equity fund, mutual fund, hedge Fund, pension fund or any other investment vehicle that entered into an FX Instrument between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2013.

Direct Claimants

Settlement Class Members who directly entered into an FX Instrument, either with a Defendant or another financial institution, may submit documentation of their FX transaction volumes using their own records and will submit those records to the Claims Administrator.

To value a claim, the Claims Administrator will:

  1. Analyze transaction volume based on the records submitted by the Claimant and, if necessary, convert values into CAD, using prevailing exchanges rates during the relevant time period applicable for the submitted records;
  2. If any volumes submitted are rejected, send a deficiency notice to the Claimant and provide an opportunity to cure;
  3. Adjust the transaction volume to yield the Claimant’s Settlement Transaction Volume1;
  4. Adjust the Settlement Transaction Volume to yield the Eligible Participation Amount2; and,
  5. Determine the damages calculation and the payment to the Claimant.

Subject to further order of the courts, the settlement funds allocated to Direct Claimants will be distributed proportionally based on the value of an approved claim relative to the value of all approved claims. The value of a claim will depend on the quantum of the Eligible Participation Amounts. Trades between January 1, 2003 and November 30, 2007 will be discounted by 40%.

Indirect Claimants

Settlement Class Members who indirectly transacted in an FX Instrument by virtue of participating in or trading in an investment vehicle, such as a mutual fund, which was incorrectly valued due the Defendants’ misconduct may submit their own trading records of their participation or investments in such investment vehicles to the Claims Administrator.

To value a claim, the Claims Administrator will:

  1. Confirm the investment vehicle held by the Claimant during the Class Period is on the list of investment vehicles available in Canada that entered into FX Instruments. This list will be prepared by Class Counsel based on a review of public disclosure of investment vehicles. If an investment vehicle is not on the list, the Claims Administrator will notify Class Counsel, who will determine whether the investment vehicle entered into FX Instruments and should be added to the list, or whether the claim relating to the investment vehicle in question is ineligible;
  2. Analyze transaction volume based on the records submitted by the Claimant, and if necessary, convert values into CAD using prevailing exchange rates during the relevant time period applicable for the submitted records to calculate Claimant's peak investment in the listed investment vehicles;
  3. If any volumes submitted are rejected, send a deficiency notice to the Claimant and provide an opportunity to cure; and,
  4. Determine the damages calculation and the payment to the Claimant.

Damages will only be paid out if the cumulative volume of investment is above a minimum threshold approved by the Courts. Trades between January 1, 2003 and November 30, 2007 will be discounted by 40%.

This FAQ only summarizes the Distribution Protocol. More information about the Distribution Protocol is available on this website. Questions about the Distribution Protocol or any other matters contained in this notice may be directed to Class Counsel:

1 Settlement Transaction Volume is the gross transaction volume in eligible instruments adjusted by Conversion Ratios that account for an instrument’s sensitivity to the spot rate.

2 Eligible Participation Amount is the Claimant’s Settlement Transaction Volume adjusted by Relative Damage Factors that account for two transaction characteristics that affect damages: currency pair traded and trade size.

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5. How do I make a claim for Settlement benefits?

Settlement Class Members who wish to apply for compensation under the settlements must apply no later than August 19, 2019. Claims that are not made within the deadline will not be eligible for compensation. Applications for settlement benefits should be submitted via the “Submit a Claim” link above.

If you are unable to file an electronic claim, but wish to apply for settlement benefits, please contact the Claims Administrator at (800) 375-9070.

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6. Who are the lawyers who represent the class and how will they be paid?

The law firms of Sotos LLP, Koskie Minsky LLP, Siskinds LLP, and Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman represent the Plaintiffs and the class in the Ontario action and Siskinds Desmeules, s.e.n.c.r.l. represent the Plaintiff and the class in the Quebec action (“Class Counsel”).

The lawyers will be paid on a contingency fee basis. Class Counsel fees and disbursements must be approved by the Ontario court. Class Counsel's request that legal fees of up to 18.5% of the settlement funds, less legal fees previously awarded, plus disbursements and applicable taxes, were approved by the court and will be paid out of the settlement funds. This motion was heard in Ontario, at the same time as the hearing to approve the Distribution Protocol.

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7. What are my options?

The Distribution Protocol was approved by the Ontario Court on July 4, 2018, and the Quebec Court on August 24, 2018. Settlement Class Members who wish to apply for compensation under the settlements must apply no later than August 19, 2019. Claims that are not made within the deadline will not be eligible for compensation. Applications for settlement benefits should be submitted via the “Submit a Claim” link above.

If you did not agree with the Distribution Protocol or Class Counsel’s request for fees or expenses, you could have made submissions to the courts regarding the proposed Distribution Protocol and Class Counsel’s fee request on or before June 29, 2018. You can download a copy of the long-form notice by visiting the Documents section of this website.

The hearing before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was held on July 4, 2018 at 10:00AM at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario. The hearing before the Quebec Superior Court was held on August 6, 2018 at 9:30AM at the Quebec City Courthouse, 300 Jean Lesage Boulevard, Quebec City, Quebec.

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8. How do I submit comments or objections?

The Distribution Protocol was approved by the Ontario Court on July 4, 2018, and the Quebec Court on August 24, 2018. Objections and comments must have been postmarked by June 29, 2018 to be considered at the Approval hearings.

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