Silver Price Manipulation Class Action
A class action lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages on behalf of Canadian investors was launched April 15, 2016 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The action arises from a conspiracy among the defendants to fix, raise, decrease, maintain, stabilize, control, or enhance unreasonably the price of silver and silver-related investment instruments, which include, without limitation: silver bullion and silver coins, silver futures, shares of silver-focused ETFs, units of silver-focused mutual funds, silver certificates, silver leases, over-the-counter silver spot or forward transactions, and options on any of the foregoing (“Silver Market Instruments”) and to fix, raise, decrease, maintain, stabilize, control, or enhance unreasonably bid-ask spreads used by market participants in the silver market.
The Defendants are as follows:
- The Bank of Nova Scotia
- Scotia Capital (USA) Inc.
- Deutsche Bank AG
- Deutsche Bank Securities Limited
- Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.
- HSBC Holdings PLC
- HSBC Bank PLC
- HSBC Bank Canada
- HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc.
- HSBC USA Inc.
- HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
- UBS AG
- UBS Securities LLC
- UBS Bank (Canada)
- The London Silver Market Fixing Limited
April 26, 2022
The Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiffs’ motion to add new parties and amend their claim to reflect allegations of spoofing the market. You can find a copy of the decision under the Documents section. The plaintiffs have appealed that decision.
October 29, 2020
The plaintiffs brought a motion to add JP Morgan Chase & Co., J.P. Morgan Bank Canada, J.P. Morgan Canada, JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association, Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc., Bank of America Corporation, and Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc. as defendants.
April 8, 2020
The plaintiffs in the Ontario action will be seeking to certify the Ontario action on behalf of a national class. At the certification motion, the court will determine whether this action is properly prosecuted as a class action. The certification motion will be heard October 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2020.
September 18, 2019
Justice Belobaba approved the settlement with Deutsche Bank and also approved the fees and disbursements of Class Counsel. You can find the settlement approval order here, the fee approval order here and the Court’s reasons for approval here.
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.
May 29, 2019
A national settlement reached with Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche Bank Securities Limited, and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. (collectively “Deutsche Bank”), totaling $2,121,939.05, was approved by the Courts in Ontario and Quebec. The court orders approving the settlement and counsel fees, and the court’s reasons for approval, can be downloaded from the Documents section.
February 19, 2019
A national settlement, totaling $3,350,360.95 has been reached with Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche Bank Securities Limited, and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. (collectively “Deutsche Bank”), subject to court approval in Ontario and Quebec.
Motions to approve the Deutsche Bank Settlement will be heard in the Ontario Court on April 30, 2019 and the Quebec Court on June 17, 2019.
To view the Long Form Notice of Settlement Approval Hearing please click here. To view the Short Form Notice of Settlement Approval please click here.
Settlement Class Members have an opportunity to opt out of (exclude themselves from) the class action. A copy of the opt out form is available here.
October 25, 2018
This action was certified for settlement purposes against the Deutsche Bank defendants. There will be a motion to approve the settlement.
August 28, 2017
The plaintiffs continue to work towards certification. A return date for the motion is still to be set.
March 28, 2017
The Class Proceedings Fund has agreed to fund this action.
July 14, 2016
The Statement of Claim was issued July 14, 2016
April 15, 2016
The Notice of Action was issued on April 15, 2016.
- April 26, 2022
What is the case about?
The case alleges that the defendants conspired to manipulate prices in the silver market under the guise of the benchmark fixing process, known as the London Silver Fixing, from January 1999 to August 2014.
What stage is the case at and what are the next steps?
The plaintiffs have issued a Notice of Action that provides a summary of the nature of the allegations to be made in this case. A more detailed Statement of Claim will be prepared and served on the defendants in the next few weeks. After the defendants are served, there will be a hearing before the judge assigned to the case to determine the next steps.
The case has not yet been certified as a class action. There will be a hearing, known as a certification hearing, after all of the defendants are served, to determine whether or not the case is suitable to proceed as a class action.
What types of silver purchases are covered by this action?
The plaintiffs seek to represent: all persons or entities in Canada who, between January 1, 1999 and August 14, 2014, transacted in a Silver Market Instrument 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 transacted in a Silver Market Instrument.
A “Silver Market Instrument” is defined in the Notice of Action as: silver bullion or silver bullion coins, silver futures contracts traded on an exchange operated in Canada, shares in silver ETFs, silver call options traded on an exchange operated in Canada, silver put options traded on an exchange operated in Canada, over-the-counter silver spot or forward transactions or silver call options, over-the-counter silver put options, leases for silver.
The full extent of the investments that are covered by this action will be determined by the court at the time of certification.
I made purchases of a silver market instrument during the relevant time. What should I do with my records?
You should keep your records of any purchases of Silver Market Instrument until the end of this lawsuit. At the appropriate time, if there is a successful resolution of the case, you may be required to prove your purchases in order to obtain compensation.
How do I register to be part of this case?
If the court certifies the action as a class proceeding, notices will be published in the national media and on the internet to all prospective class members. Notices will also be sent directly to all individuals who register on the law firms’ websites. To be sure to receive a direct notice if the case is certified, you should contact us.
Will I be able to recover my losses in respect of a silver market instrument through this lawsuit?
It is not possible to determine at this stage what losses may be recovered through this lawsuit. If the case is certified by the court, the court will determine what issues will go to trial, what Silver Market Instruments may be covered by the action, and whether or not damages can be assessed at trial on a global basis or on an individualized basis.
Why does the notice of action seek $1 billion in damages?
The amount of damages sought in the Notice of Action is preliminary only. It can be adjusted upward or downward as the case moves forward and as further details become available.
How long will this case be expected to take before it is resolved?
Complex cases such as this one can be expected to take several years before there is a resolution.
I bought shares in a silver mining corporation. Will those shares be included in the class action?
No. Shares in silver mining corporations are not included in the proposed definition of Silver Market Instruments.
I bought or sold silver market instruments outside of Canada. Will those purchases be included in the class action?
No, the action is limited to transactions that occurred while the purchaser or seller was in Canada.
I am not a Canadian resident. Will I be included in the class action?
Your purchases will only be included if you were in Canada when you bought or sold a Silver Market Instrument.
I have purchased a silver market instrument but I have not sold it. Is it necessary to have sold it to be included in the class?
The scope of the transactions that will be covered by the class action will be determined by the court at the time of certification. Until then, you should preserve your purchase records.
Have any of the defendants pleaded guilty or admitted to any wrongdoing in relation to the allegations made in this case?
No defendant has pleaded guilty to or admitted any wrongdoing in relation to such conduct.
I understand deutsche bank has entered into a settlement in a U.S. action that was brought in relation to alleged manipulation in the price of silver. Is that relevant to this case?
Based on publicly available information, Deutsche Bank has agreed to make a payment to the plaintiffs and to provide information and cooperation in respect of the U.S. action. Further details of the settlement have not yet been made public. Settlements do not involve an admission of guilt by a defendant.
Do I have to pay money to be part of this class?
No, the action is being brought on a contingent fee basis by the lawyers for the plaintiffs. This means that the lawyers for the plaintiff have agreed that they will only be paid from the money collected from the defendants in the Class Action. The Court will decide how much money the lawyers for the plaintiff are paid.