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10/18/2021

Canadian retail class action fights high interchange fees

The lawsuits allege a conspiracy in setting higher interchange fees paid by merchants to accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
Kelly Gray
Editor, Octane
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Conceptual business illustration with the words interchange fee
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Class action lawsuits have been brought in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec against Visa, Mastercard and several banks that issue their credit cards. This action has been taken on behalf of all merchants in Canada who accept these credit cards.

The lawsuits allege a conspiracy in setting higher interchange fees paid by merchants to accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards, and other restrictions. The allegations have been denied.

To date, seven settlements with some of the issuing banks and with Visa and MasterCard have been approved. The net proceeds of those settlements were held for distribution after the resolution of the remaining claims.

There is now a proposed settlement with the five remaining issuing banks–RBC, TD, CIBC, BMO and Scotia Bank. The proposed settlement provides for a payment of $120,000,000.00.

Settlements of class action lawsuits must be approved by the Courts before they are effective. If the proposed settlement is approved by the Courts, the net settlement funds generated in this proposed settlement, and the previously approved settlements, will be handed out following a distribution plan.

A hearing to consider whether the proposed settlement, distribution plan and the amounts payable to the class action lawyers should be approved will take place by video link provided by the Courts on December 6, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. CST. 

Anyone may attend the hearing. For more information, visit www.creditcardsettlements.ca.