KSV Advisory Canada’s Leading Boutique Advisory, Restructuring and Valuations Firm.


MacDonald V BMO Trust Company et al

This class action lawsuit against BMO Trust Company et al claimed that BMO charged an undisclosed fee on foreign exchange conversions in the class members’ registered accounts. The class sought, among other things, disgorgement of BMO’s profits on these fees charged from October 1, 2002 to September 6, 2011.

We were retained by Class counsel to assist in evaluating financial and accounting issues in this case, including preparing an opinion as to the quantum of BMO’s profits from these fees.

In February 2020, the Court found BMO liable to the Class for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract and required BMO to return the profits on the amounts charged to the Class.

The Court then ordered a Reference to determine the profits.

We prepared a detailed analysis of BMO’s accounting systems and cost structures to identify relevant costs to deduct from the subject fees. Our analysis followed the framework recently set out by the Court of Appeal in Nova v Dow (see case summary) and the guidance provided by the Court in this case that a reference would be held to determine the reasonable and necessary expenses to be deducted from the foreign exchange revenue (to determine the final profit amount of the final judgement).

The reference proceeded and the matter settled before the decision as released.