Banks lower interest rates, offer deferrals to ease increasing financial hardship

Apr 6 2020, 12:33 pm

With a growing negative impact on the economy throughout the nation, Canadian banks are hoping to ease the pain by lowering interest rates, and offering to defer payments.

It has been roughly a month since sweeping closures hit major cities across the country, and with it came the loss of work for hundreds of thousands of Canadians. More than 240,000 applied for the federal government’s emergency supplemental income program in the wake of this global health crisis.

Banks like BMO, TD, CIBC, Scotiabank, and more have all adjusted their regulations to better support Canadians, according to information gathered by Ratehub.

Aside from the Emergency Response Benefit, banks are providing Canadians with a series of changes.

The BMO is offering customers deferral on payments on a case-by-case basis, stemming from a disruption of income or a simple need for critical purchases like groceries. The bank announced on April 4 that they will reduce interest on credit cards to 10.99%.

Opening up an online portal to assist customers in applying for payment deferral, the RBC also published that they will be reducing interest rates for applicable customers by 50%. TD is doing the same.

Matching BMO, CIBC reports it will be lowering interest rates down to 10.99%. The bank also opened up an online form to apply for further financial assistance during this trying time.

Scotiabank customers can also gain a reduced interest rate of 10.99% if they qualify for deferral.

Relief efforts continue to roll out from the Canadian government, financial institutions, and charitable organizations across the country.