Consumers whose information was potentially exposed during cyberattacks in 2018 at Bank of Montreal (BMO) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) are a step closer to compensation after a judge approved two class action settlements.
A judge in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario has approved the class action settlements with BMO and CIBC on April 20, 2021, for a potential aggregate amount of more than $21.2 million and $1.77 million, respectively.
The data breaches affected 113,151 clients at BMO and 10,101 clients at Simplii Financial, an online consumer brand operated by the CIBC, according to Judge Robert Smith’s approval order.
Both settlements proposed categorizing Class Members according to the nature of the information compromised during the breaches.
Larger amounts were proposed for Class Members whose SIN and birthdates were compromised and/or posted online, compared to individuals who did not have that information accessed.
For instance, BMO clients who had their personal information posted online are expected to receive just more than $700, after attorneys’ fees and other costs are paid.
Class Members also can expect to be compensated for time they spent dealing with the fallout from the data breaches at a rate of $18 per hour. Each group will have a different cap on the number of hours they can claim.
Both BMO and CIBC had already compensated clients who had fraudulent transfers out of their bank accounts, according to Investment Executive. Those payouts cost BMO $6.85 million and CIBC $1.8 million.
In addition, the banks provided those affected free credit monitoring and identity theft protection, Investment Executive reported.
The Court noted that while there were a handful of objections to the BMO and CIBC settlements, a majority — 99 percent in the case of BMO — did not express any concerns.
Some Class Members were concerned their information could be posted online at some future date, and while that remains a possibility, the judge wrote, the parties believed to be responsible for the breaches have been arrested.
“I am satisfied that the proposed settlement agreement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the class,” Judge Smith wrote in his approval order.
Was your information compromised during the 2018 BMO and CIBC data breaches? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.
The plaintiffs are represented by Jean-Marc Leclerc, Carsten Jensen, and Michael G. Robb.
The BMO and CIBC Data Breach Class Action Lawsuits are Mallette v. Bank of Montreal, File No. CV-18-76745-00CP, and Bannister v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, File No. CV-18-76456-00CP, both in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.
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