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Trailing commissions (also known as trailer fees) paid on mutual funds are intended to compensate mutual fund dealers for investment advice they provide to investors. Mutual funds also pay trailing commissions to discount brokers. Discount brokers primarily operate online and include BMO InvestorLine, TD Direct Investing, RBC Direct Investing, CIBC Investor’s Edge, Scotia iTRADE and National Bank Direct Brokerage. They are not allowed to provide investment advice. Since no advice is provided to investors who purchase mutual funds through discount brokers, these investors receive no value for the trailing commissions that are deducted from their mutual fund investments.

Siskinds LLP and Bates Barristers P.C. have filed proposed class actions against various mutual fund trustees and managers challenging the trailing commissions they have paid to discount brokers on mutual funds under their management. The class actions seek damages for the mutual fund investors.

Have you ever held mutual funds in a discount brokerage account? We want to hear from you. Click the "Join" button above or complete the "Get In Touch" form below to learn more about our cases. Your information will be held in strict confidence. By completing the form, you are not retaining Siskinds LLP or Bates Barristers P.C., nor do you incur any obligations in connection with the class actions. You may also email us at mutualfundfees@siskinds.com.

Developments

Seven class actions lawsuits have been filed by Siskinds LLP and Bates Barristers P.C. challenging the payment of trailing commissions to discount brokers. Details of each action are provided below. Each case claims damages and other relief. All of the actions are currently in the pre-certification stage.

In April 2018, a proposed class action was filed against TD Asset Management Inc. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a TD mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In June 2018, a proposed class action was filed against 1832 Asset Management L.P. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a Scotia or Dynamic mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In September 2018, a proposed class action was filed against CIBC Trust Corporation and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a CIBC mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against Mackenzie Financial Corporation and Mackenzie Financial Capital Corporation. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a Mackenzie mutual fund trust or shares of a Mackenzie corporate class mutual fund through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against RBC Global Asset Management Inc. and RBC Investor Services Trust. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a RBC or PH&N mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against BMO Investments Inc. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a BMO mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against National Bank Investments Inc. and Natcan Trust Company. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a National Bank mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

FAQs

Who is affected by this class action?

You are affected by these class actions if you hold or held, through a discount broker, units of a TD mutual fund trust, units of a Scotia or Dynamic mutual fund trust, units of a CIBC mutual fund trust, units of a RBC or PH&N mutual fund trust, units of a BMO mutual fund trust, units of a National Bank mutual fund trust, or units of a Mackenzie mutual fund trust or shares of a Mackenzie corporate class mutual fund.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Unless you opted-out (excluded yourself from the class action), assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should keep any documents that you have relating to these class actions, including any documents evidencing your purchase and sale of the mutual funds that are covered by the class actions.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have a question, please complete the "Get In Touch" form below or email us at mutualfundfees@siskinds.com.

Seven class actions lawsuits have been filed by Siskinds LLP and Bates Barristers P.C. challenging the payment of trailing commissions to discount brokers. Details of each action are provided below. Each case claims damages and other relief. All of the actions are currently in the pre-certification stage.

In April 2018, a proposed class action was filed against TD Asset Management Inc. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a TD mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In June 2018, a proposed class action was filed against 1832 Asset Management L.P. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a Scotia or Dynamic mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In September 2018, a proposed class action was filed against CIBC Trust Corporation and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a CIBC mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against Mackenzie Financial Corporation and Mackenzie Financial Capital Corporation. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a Mackenzie mutual fund trust or shares of a Mackenzie corporate class mutual fund through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against RBC Global Asset Management Inc. and RBC Investor Services Trust. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a RBC or PH&N mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against BMO Investments Inc. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a BMO mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

In December 2018, a proposed class action was filed against National Bank Investments Inc. and Natcan Trust Company. The proposed class is all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who held or hold, at any time prior to the conclusion of the trial of the common issues in the proceeding, units of a National Bank mutual fund trust through a discount broker, except for certain excluded persons.

Who is affected by this class action?

You are affected by these class actions if you hold or held, through a discount broker, units of a TD mutual fund trust, units of a Scotia or Dynamic mutual fund trust, units of a CIBC mutual fund trust, units of a RBC or PH&N mutual fund trust, units of a BMO mutual fund trust, units of a National Bank mutual fund trust, or units of a Mackenzie mutual fund trust or shares of a Mackenzie corporate class mutual fund.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Unless you opted-out (excluded yourself from the class action), assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should keep any documents that you have relating to these class actions, including any documents evidencing your purchase and sale of the mutual funds that are covered by the class actions.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have a question, please complete the "Get In Touch" form below or email us at mutualfundfees@siskinds.com.

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