CNW (Toronto, ON) – This notice is about a partial settlement in a class action relating to certain types of bonds, which are known as “SSA Bonds,” which means any and all supranational, sovereign, sub-sovereign, governmental, quasi-governmental, and agency bonds or debt instruments regardless of the structure, currency, or credit quality.
You are included in the lawsuit if you are part of the following definition:
All Persons in Canada Who, Between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015, Entered Into an SSA Bond Transaction, 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.
“SSA Bond Transaction” means any purchase, sale, trade, assignment, novation, unwind, termination, or other exercise of rights or options with respect to any SSA Bond.
This Settlement May Affect Your Rights. Please Read this Notice Carefully
Settlements have been reached with Bank of America and related entities (“Bank of America”) and HSBC Holdings and related entities (“HSBC”) in a class action relating to supranational, sovereign, sub-sovereign, governmental, quasi-governmental and agency bonds or debt instruments (“SSA Bonds”). The settlements will affect the rights of those who directly or indirectly (including through an intermediary or through an investment or equity fund, mutual fund, hedge fund, pension fund or other investment vehicle) entered into a SSA Bond transaction between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015. You do not have to have entered into a transaction with Bank of America or HSBC to be affected by these settlements.
The settlements require Bank of America to pay CAD$750,000 and HSBC to pay $1,323,529.41 and for Bank of America and HSBC to provide cooperation for the benefit of the ongoing prosecution of the class action against the non-settling defendants. In exchange, all claims against Bank of America and HSBC will be released. In addition, if approved, the settlements preclude the non-settling defendants and any other person or entity from making any claims against Bank of America and HSBC, including claims for contribution and indemnity or other claims over. If the Court ultimately concludes that there is a right of contribution and indemnity or other claim over against Bank of America and HSBC, the Plaintiffs and the class members will not be entitled to claim or recover from the non-settling defendants or anyone else that portion of damages. This arrangement is called a “bar order”. Bar orders are common in partial settlements of multi-party actions. Bank of America and HSBC do not admit any wrongdoing or liability and disagree with the allegations in the lawsuit.
The settlement amounts will not be distributed at this time, but may be distributed at the conclusion of the action, or, if there are more settlements, when a distribution becomes economical. There will be additional notice when there is a distribution.
What is this case about?
Beginning at least as early as 2005 and continuing through 2015, it is alleged that the Defendants conspired with each other to fix prices in the SSA Bond market. It is alleged that the Defendants communicated directly with each other, including sharing competitively sensitive pricing information, exchanging information about new SSA Bond issues, customers’ trading histories and requests for quotes, in order to coordinate the fixing of the bond prices they quoted to customers. It is also alleged that the Defendants used interdealer brokers to: keep each defendant apprised of the others’ activities, conceal their trades with each other, access confidential information and manipulate the price information that was broadcast to the SSA Bond market, among other things. It is alleged that to give effect to their conspiracy, the Defendants did the following:
- improperly shared confidential client and proprietary trading information;
- executed coordinated trading to influence the price of SSA Bonds;
- monitored the conduct of co-conspirators to ensure secrecy and compliance with the conspiracy; and
- agreed to “stand down” by holding off buying or selling SSA Bonds to benefit co-conspirators.
Who are the lawyers who represent the class?
The law firms of Sotos LLP, Koskie Minsky LLP, Siskinds LLP, and Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman represent the Plaintiffs and the other Class Members.
Hearing to Approve Settlement Agreements and Disbursements Reimbursement Request
A motion to approve the settlements has been set for February 5, 2020. At the hearing the court will also address a motion to approve fees for counsel to the class.
What are your options?
Take no Steps: If you do nothing you will automatically remain in the Class. If any benefits, including any settlement funds, become available for distribution to the Class, you will be notified about how to ask for a share. If a benefit is obtained for the Class, you may need to take action in order to receive any benefits.
Object: If you want to object to the proposed settlements with Bank of America and/or HSBC, you should do so by setting out your objection in writing addressed to Class Counsel by January 24, 2020.
Remove Yourself (Opt-Out): If you ask to be removed (opt out) and money or other benefits are later awarded, you won’t share in that money or benefits. But, you keep any rights to sue the defendants on your own about the same legal claims in this lawsuit. Your opt-out must be received by January 28, 2020.