Six of Canada’s biggest banks are extending their services to offer immediate financial relief and peace of mind for small businesses and individuals in Canada impacted by COVID-19. The institutions rallying around this initiative are Bank of Montreal, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, CIBC, TD Bank, and Scotiabank.
These banks have committed to work with consumer and business clients on a case-by-case basis to provide agile solutions to help manage the hardships associated with COVID-19.
This announcement comes as many Canadians are experiencing unstable income and added expense from business shutdowns in efforts to slow down and contain the spread of the virus.
More news is coming out every day regarding financial support for Canadians during these challenging times. Mentor Works has been actively monitoring the situation and will be summarizing the resources available to manage the impact on businesses during an upcoming COVID-19 webinar. We encourage you to attend to better understand your options during this time of global transition.
Canada’s Big Six to Provide Financial Relief Plans
Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them, as support is being offered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that more information is expected in the coming days; certain banks had limited information publicly available at the time of this writing.
To support you and your business during this time, Mentor Works is actively updating our COVID-19 page with resources available to Canadians.
The banks taking part in providing financial relief include:
Bank of Montreal (BMO)
The Bank of Montreal is allowing up to a six-month payment deferral on mortgages, loans, credit cards, and lines of credit with no fee (payment will be deferred but interest will continue to accrue) and no changes to the terms of your BMO account.
Those who are concerned about missing a payment are to sign into BMO Online Banking and send a request through the safe and secure Message Centre.
National Bank of Canada
Like the other banks, the National Bank of Canada may offer payment deferrals of up to six months on mortgages, or longer amortization periods for both personal and commercial banking clients. Special loans to cover living expenses may also be available. Customers are asked to get in touch with their personal banking representative.
Another way to get in contact is to send a secure message by signing in to your online bank account, clicking Help and contacts in the left menu, and then clicking Send message.
RBC Royal Bank
To help clients with immediate relief, some of RBC Royal Bank’s programs are available by self-serve, including skip an auto-loan payment, mortgage payment, and personal loan payment. These options will provide you with direct relief for one month. Further financial assistance may include payment deferment up to six months on mortgages.
For personal clients (*Some restrictions may apply. Clients are to contact RBC Royal Bank directly for tailored support. Note, skipping can affect your amortization and payment schedule):
- Personal Lending: Skip one monthly payment on your Personal Loan.
- Car Loans: Skip one monthly payment.
- Credit Cards: Skip one monthly payment.
- Mortgages: Skip one monthly payment, or four consecutive weekly payments, or up to two consecutive bi-weekly or semi-monthly payments including principal and interest. There is no fee for this option, and your payment amount won’t change during the term of your mortgage.
For business clients:
- Waiving of credit card minimum payments.
- Business loan payment deferrals.
- Increases to operating line of credit limits.
- Waived fees for new enrollments to cash management solutions.
Please contact your advisor or call RBC Royal Bank’s Advice Centre at 1-800-ROYAL-20 to discuss your options. As the call centre continues to experience extremely long wait times, RBC Royal Bank is encouraging clients to use the online booking tool to schedule a time to speak by phone.
Frequently asked questions regarding the relief program are available on the RBC website.
As inquiries are at a higher volume than usual, CIBC is asking clients experiencing hardships to first complete a financial assistance form. They’ve expanded their dedicated call centre team with small business lending experts who are ready to assist small businesses with payment deferral and other measures. Support for their customers include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.
TD Bank customers who are directly impacted by COVID-19 and as a result are facing financial challenges such as illness, pay disruption, or childcare disruption due to school closures are to reach out to TD Bank at 1-888-720-0075. Support may include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products on a case-by-case basis.
If you are a Scotiabank customer and you, or any member of your family, has become unemployed or experiences a material reduction in income due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to qualify for relief measures until September 13, 2020.
In order to get access to financial relief measures, you should contact your financial advisor or call 1-800-4-SCOTIA. Business Banking customers, please connect with your Relationship Manager.
Support includes but is not limited to:
- Personal Loans or Auto Loans: On unsecured and secured term loans, you can defer payments for up to three months. If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue, and three months of payments will be added at the end of your payment schedule. If you have an insured personal loan your insurance premium is not impacted. If you have an insured auto loan, your insurance premiums will be deferred as well, but your loan will continue to be insured during the deferral period.
- Lines of Credit: On unsecured and secured lines of credit, you can defer up to three months of minimum payments. If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue and will be payable once the deferral period is over. If you have creditor insurance on your Line of Credit the overall payment, including your insurance premiums, will be deferred. Your Line of Credit will continue to be insured during the deferral period.
- Mortgages: A mortgage deferral means that you will not be required to make regular payments on your mortgage for up to six months. During the time you defer your mortgage payments, interest will continue to accrue – so your payments will be slightly higher after the deferral period ends. You will pay more interest over the life of your mortgage, but a deferral will also help you with your short-term cash flow. If you have an insured mortgage, you will continue to be charged for your Scotia Mortgage Protection insurance premiums in order to maintain your coverage.
- Credit Cards: On secured and unsecured credit cards, you can defer your minimum payment for up to three months. If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue on your outstanding balance and will be payable once the deferral period is over. If you have creditor insurance on your Credit Card the overall payment, including your insurance premiums, will be deferred. Your Credit Card will continue to be insured during the deferral period.
These banks are not the only financial institutions offering financial relief; banks such as Alberta-based ATB Financial will allow mortgage payment deferments and Quebec-based cooperative Desjardins Group says its members could also get relief on their loan payments.
Canada’s Response to COVID-19
The news from the banks comes in tandem with the federal government’s $27 billion economic response plan to COVID-19. Additional measures for financial and income support were made available for Canadians such as wage subsidies, deferred tax payments, and temporary changes to employment insurance (EI).
Mentor Works is here to support our clients where we can. For additional info about how Canadian businesses can access funding support for COVID-19, please register for one of our COVID-19 Support for Canadian Businesses webinars.