In Staines v. Royal Bank of Canada, Justice Perell certified an action as a class proceeding for the purpose of implementing settlements reached with UBS, BNP and Bank of America with respect to claims for fixing spot prices, controlling and manipulating FX benchmark rates, and exchanging key confidential customer information.
The Statement of Claim, issued in September 2015, pleads inter alia a statutory right of action for contraventions of the Competition Act, civil conspiracy and unjust enrichment. The Plaintiff alleged that through the use of chat rooms the Defendants, comprising over a dozen international banks, conspired to impact FX instruments, including those trading over-the-counter and on exchanges. Similar litigation is ongoing in Quebec.
The Plaintiff sought an order certifying the action as a class proceeding, having reached settlements with UBS for $4.95 million, with BNP for $4.5 million and with Bank of America for $6.5 million. The Court found that the fact that an action is certified on consent for settlement purposes does not dispense with the need to meet the certification criteria, but they may be less rigorously applied. Justice Perell was satisfied that the criteria have been satisfied, and granted the order.