Big banks offer mortgage repayment holiday

Canada's big six banks — Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, and TD Bank — will start offering support to Canadians affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Neil Parmenter, CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association, said the six banks will be offering a six-month payment deferral for mortgages.

"The banks have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19," the banks said in a joint statement.

The banks are urging affected Canadians to contact their lenders directly to discuss the options available for them.

"These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of Canada's financial system and the strength of our major banks. Banks will monitor evolving economic conditions and consider other measures if necessary," the statement said.

Recently, several big banks matched the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to cut the overnight rate, lowering their lending rates by 50 basis point to 2.95%.

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