Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Class Action Settlement with BMO

BMO was sued in a class action lawsuit for charging undisclosed fees on foreign exchange conversions in customers’ registered accounts between 2001 and 2011.  Customers of BMO Nesbitt Burns, BMO InvestorLine, and BMO Trust Company will get their share of the settlement before Oct. 8.

A decade ago I calculated that I had spent $7374 in currency exchange costs while trading U.S. stocks since I had opened trading accounts at BMO InvestorLine.  When I heard about the class action settlement with BMO, I figured I’d only get back a tiny fraction of this money.  However, my wife and I are pleased to be getting a total of $2051 plus $955 in interest.

It would be nice if BMO’s response to this lawsuit was to charge sensible foreign exchange fees, but they are much more likely to simply be more careful about meeting some legal standard of disclosure.  Unwitting customers will continue to rack up unreasonably high foreign exchange costs.


  1. I got an letter stating they calculated how much they owe me due to this class action and since it was under $25 dollars they donated it to a charity. I wonder if CRA will allow me to claim that amount as a charitable donation?

    1. Anonymous,

      You'd think it would be just as easy to give you the money as send you a letter explaining why they're not going to give you the money. I suppose you could try to claim it on your taxes, but it would net you less than $6 and it would be hard to defend to CRA if you don't know the amount.