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The legal nature of Wire Transfer Under Quebec Law: The Court of Appeal Rules in Favour of Our Client.


The Court of Appeal of Quebec recently made the nature of wire transfers in Quebec law more precise by upholding the Superior Court's decision in Compagnie d'assurances générales Co-Operators v. Coop fédérée. In the case in question, a phishing victim has issued a payment order authorizing the bank to make a transfer of nearly $5 million to the account of a designated beneficiary in a Hong Kong bank. Having discovered the fraud, the victim requested compensation from his insurer. The latter denied coverage and in particular submitted that the financial institution had to assume the loss on the basis that the funds belonged to the bank and that the transfer was similar to a bill of exchange. 

The Court of Appeal confirmed the rejection of these arguments by providing extensive information on the non-application of the Bills of Exchange Act to a wire transfer and on the nature of the bank deposit.

This case also raised the question of what constitutes a specific insurance policy. To read the judgment, click here.

The banking institution, the National Bank of Canada, was represented by Laurence Ste-Marie and Patrick Ouellet.