Canada’s Banks are Standing by Canadians

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The COVID‑19 outbreak remains the most serious crisis Canada has faced in recent memory. And banks in Canada continue to step up to help our country work through these challenging times.

To confront the financial dimensions of pandemic, Canada’s banking sector has worked in lockstep with the federal government, the Bank of Canada and regulators to immediately implement a series of relief initiatives, redeploying staff to create tailored support plans for individuals and small businesses to help manage financial uncertainty and help blunt the economic impact of COVID‑19.

Canada’s banks have helped more than 799,700 homeowners with mortgage flexibility and provided more than 482,000 individuals with credit card payment deferrals. We’ve worked with the Government of Canada to more efficiently and securely deliver the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to more than 3.2 million Canadians and have facilitated interest‑free loans to more than 823,000 small businesses through the Canada Emergency Business Account. And Canada’s six largest banks have waived more than $100 million in fees for personal and small business accounts from March to December 2020. We’ve also made changes to our branches and customer service delivery methods to protect our employees and customers and provided more than $22 million in donations to support front-line workers and urgent community needs.

As Canadians continue to navigate the economic and social disruption caused by COVID-19, banks in Canada will continue to stand by their customers and bring tailored solutions to help foster a strong recovery.

Personal customers

  • Reducing credit card interest rates, deferring payments and instituting low minimum payments on credit cards, lines of credit and auto loans. As of December 31, more than 482,000 credit card deferral requests are in process or have been completed by eight banks.
  • Canada’s banks are offering mortgage payment relief to customers by way of deferred mortgage payments. As of December 31, 13 CBA member banks have provided help through mortgage deferrals or skip a payment to more than 799,700 Canadians, which represents about 16.7% of the number of mortgages in bank portfolios.

    • More than 761,000 (about 95%) of banks’ total deferred mortgages have expired as of December 31. According to the Bank of Canada, over 99% of households with expired deferrals on any kind of debt have resumed repayment.
  • Collaborating with the Government of Canada to offer online enrollment of Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) direct deposit to facilitate Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments. Over 3.2 million Canadians have already enrolled through their financial institution for CRA direct deposit.
  • Instituting policies that prioritize seniors, frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable populations when they access in-branch services

Small business customers

  • Canada’s banks serve three million self-employed, small and medium-sized businesses across Canada and have authorized more than $254.6 billion in credit to this sector as of December 2019.
  • Banks are delivering fast access to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program, facilitating small and medium-sized companies interest-free loans of up to $40,000, including the recent expansion of the program.
  • As of January 28, more than 823,000 CEBA loans have been approved by financial institutions including banks, representing more than $41 billion in interest-free credit for eligible businesses.
  • Partnering with the Government of Canada to expedite access to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for businesses. The new service allows eligible businesses to register their business payroll accounts for direct deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency directly through their bank business portals.
  • Banks have partnered with the Business Development Bank of Canada to offer a Co-Lending Program and with Export Development Canada to offer a Loan Guarantee Program for small and medium-sized enterprises through the federal government’s Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).
  • Working with business clients to determine the best options to suit their specific circumstances. Banks have introduced a range of flexible measures for existing loans, including deferrals and term extensions. More than 89,500 deferrals have been extended to business accounts for SME, commercial and corporate customers with a total value of more than $3.3 billion.
  • Providing advice and support of small business clients' immediate cash management or new lending needs

Employees

  • 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