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The law firms of Siskinds LLP, Sotos LLP, Koskie Minsky LLP, and Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP are counsel in a class action against financial institutions (the “Defendants”) who conspired to fix, raise, decrease, maintain, stabilize, control or enhance unreasonably the price of supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds (“SSA bonds”)

Beginning at least as early as 2005 and continuing through to December 31, 2015, the defendants conspired with each other to fix, raise, decrease, maintain, stabilize, control or enhance unreasonably prices of SSA bonds. This was done to enhance the profits of some or all of the defendants at the expense of the Class Members.

Developments

Settlements

Settlements have been achieved with the following defendants, totaling approximately $2.1 million:

  • Bank of America Corporation, Bank of America, N.A., Bank of America Canada, Bank of America, National Association, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, Merrill Lynch International, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., Merrill Lynch International Services Limited, Merrill Lynch Financial Assets Inc., Merrill Lynch Benefits Ltd. (collectively “Bank of America”) (CDN$750,000.00)
  • HSBC Holdings PLC, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., HSBC Bank PLC, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC USA, Inc. (collectively “HSBC”) (CDN$1,323,529.41)

A motion to approve the Bank of America and HSBC Settlements will be heard by the Federal Court of Canada on February 5, 2020.

Settlement Class Members have an opportunity to opt out of (exclude themselves from) the class action.  Please review the Notice of Settlement Approval Hearing here for more information.

The settlement funds (plus interest, less court-approved fees and expenses) are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members.  At a later date, the courts will be asked to approve a method of distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members.

Contested Litigation

The contested litigation is continuing against the remaining defendants.

The plaintiffs in the action will be seeking to certify the action on behalf of a national class.  At the certification hearing, the court will determine whether this action is properly prosecuted as a class action.  The certification motion has not yet been scheduled.

FAQs

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.

Who is affected by the class action?

You are affected by the class action (a “class member”) if you entered into a SSA bond transaction in Canada between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015 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 SSA bond transaction.

A “SSA Bond” refers to any and all supranational, sovereign, sub-sovereign, governmental, quasi-governmental, and agency bonds or debt instruments regardless of the structure, currency, or credit quality.

A “SSA Bond Transaction” means any purchase, sale, trade, assignment, novation, unwind, termination, o rother exercise of rights or options with respect to any SSA Bond.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Unless you opt-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.

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

Yes. If you do not wish to participate in the Settlements, you can exclude yourself from the class action by completing and returning an Opt-Out Form which can be found here. The deadline for opting out of the class action is January 28, 2020. Further information is provided in the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing which can be found here.

If you opt-out, you will not be able to participate in the Settlement, any future settlements or court awards, but you may be able to pursue your own claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economical for any individual class member to obtain relief.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  1. Keep records of any Canadian purchases or sales of SSA bonds between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015
  2. Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in Touch form below.

Documents

Settlement

Settlements

Settlements have been achieved with the following defendants, totaling approximately $2.1 million:

  • Bank of America Corporation, Bank of America, N.A., Bank of America Canada, Bank of America, National Association, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, Merrill Lynch International, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., Merrill Lynch International Services Limited, Merrill Lynch Financial Assets Inc., Merrill Lynch Benefits Ltd. (collectively “Bank of America”) (CDN$750,000.00)
  • HSBC Holdings PLC, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., HSBC Bank PLC, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC USA, Inc. (collectively “HSBC”) (CDN$1,323,529.41)

A motion to approve the Bank of America and HSBC Settlements will be heard by the Federal Court of Canada on February 5, 2020.

Settlement Class Members have an opportunity to opt out of (exclude themselves from) the class action.  Please review the Notice of Settlement Approval Hearing here for more information.

The settlement funds (plus interest, less court-approved fees and expenses) are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members.  At a later date, the courts will be asked to approve a method of distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members.

Contested Litigation

The contested litigation is continuing against the remaining defendants.

The plaintiffs in the action will be seeking to certify the action on behalf of a national class.  At the certification hearing, the court will determine whether this action is properly prosecuted as a class action.  The certification motion has not yet been scheduled.

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.

Who is affected by the class action?

You are affected by the class action (a “class member”) if you entered into a SSA bond transaction in Canada between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015 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 SSA bond transaction.

A “SSA Bond” refers to any and all supranational, sovereign, sub-sovereign, governmental, quasi-governmental, and agency bonds or debt instruments regardless of the structure, currency, or credit quality.

A “SSA Bond Transaction” means any purchase, sale, trade, assignment, novation, unwind, termination, o rother exercise of rights or options with respect to any SSA Bond.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Unless you opt-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.

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

Yes. If you do not wish to participate in the Settlements, you can exclude yourself from the class action by completing and returning an Opt-Out Form which can be found here. The deadline for opting out of the class action is January 28, 2020. Further information is provided in the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing which can be found here.

If you opt-out, you will not be able to participate in the Settlement, any future settlements or court awards, but you may be able to pursue your own claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economical for any individual class member to obtain relief.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  1. Keep records of any Canadian purchases or sales of SSA bonds between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015
  2. Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in Touch form below.

Settlement

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