SOURCE: Canadian Bankers Association
The COVID-19 outbreak is the most urgent challenge Canada has faced in recent memory. And banks in Canada have stepped up to help our country work through these times. We are redeploying staff to create tailored support plans for individuals and small businesses as we come together to manage the financial uncertainty and economic disruption faced by our families, friends, employees and communities.
Canada’s banks have launched comprehensive programs to make a positive difference for those who need our help and support.
- Reducing credit card interest rates, deferring payments and instituting low minimum payments on credit cards and lines of credit. To date, more than 200,000* credit card deferral requests are in process or have been completed.
- Canada’s largest banks are offering mortgage payment relief to customers by way of deferred mortgage payments. As of April 8, 13 CBA member banks have provided help through mortgage deferrals or skip a payment to almost 600,000 Canadians.
- Collaborating with the Government of Canada to offer online enrollment of Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) direct deposit. To date, over 1.6 million Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments were processed by direct deposit and banks continue to sign up more Canadians via online and mobile banking channels.
- Instituting policies that prioritize seniors, frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable populations when they access in-branch services
Small business customers
- Delivering fast access to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program, providing small and medium-sized companies interest-free loans of up to $40,000
- Deferral of payment on small business credit cards and credit lines
- Payment deferral on the principal of a small business loan
- Advice and support of small business clients’ immediate cash management or new lending needs
- Intensive cleaning programs to ensure that workplaces, including branches, remain as safe as possible for everyone
- Paying bonuses and extra paid days off to customer-service employees who work in branches and call centers
- Implementing broad-based work from home options for any roles that can be performed remotely to support public health efforts and the well-being of employees
- United Way funding to support gaps in community services urgently needed for vulnerable individuals affected by the public health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19
- Donations to communities dealing with the repercussions of the global health challenges posed by COVID-19 and for programs serving at-risk populations
- A gift to United Way Centraide Canada to provide essential services, community services and services for senior citizens.
As we have done before, Canada’s banks are working closely with all stakeholders to help Canadians weather this unprecedented event.
Please visit your bank’s website for more information.