Canadian Banks Supporting Clients Through COVID-19

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.

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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.

CIBC

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

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.

Scotiabank

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.

Register for the COVID-19 Canadian Government Funding Webinar on June 3, 2020

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Myra educates and inspires leaders on ways to enhance their business’ growth projects through blog and web publication, social media, and event management.

Comments 14

3 April 2020 Reply

CIBC no computer banking…how do I defer the $10 minimum charge for the balance….I have looked everywhere…been on telephone….getting nowhere. How do I do it…I am in lockdown…..

3 April 2020 Reply

Hi Loretta – As it turns out, working with CIBC directly would be your best bet to resolve your bank-related issues. I hope things get sorted out quickly for you.

15 April 2020 Reply

We are on Social Security. My wife and I are both in our 70’s and only get paid once a month. We overdrew our account this month because we had no food in the house and have to eat. In late March we had a 740.00 car repair bill and that hurt badly. I am asking that the overdraft charges ( 70.00 ) be waived because of this. We had no choice except to go hungry. The first overdraft was done at Starbucks and that was at 10:30 in the morning when there was $311 in the bank account. Please be kind at this dreadful time and remove those 2 overdrafts. Thank you.

16 April 2020 Reply

Hi Barry – Please contact your financial institution directly. We are not associated with any bank or financial institution, so this sort of inquiry isn’t really in our wheelhouse. All the best to you and your wife. Stay well.

18 April 2020 Reply

Hi Chris, Cibc does not appear to be on board yet with the loans for small businesses. Do you know why? I’m constantly getting the run around at my bank

21 April 2020 Reply

Hi Anne – As it turns out, CIBC would have the most up-to-date information on their relief programs and it’s recommended to reach out to them directly to see when/if they can support your business with the loans you’re looking for. All the best!

28 April 2020 Reply

What about the client of the credit union which is not participating in the covid-19 small business help plan?

28 April 2020 Reply

Hi Karolina – We would recommend that you reach out to your credit union directly for the most up-to-date and specific answers to your question, as each financial institution’s circumstances might be different. You can also refer to the Canadian Credit Union Association’s (CCUA) COVID-19: Guide and Government Aid Programs.

28 April 2020 Reply

Hello,
Is there some time of relief available for car financing? I’m already doing a consumer proposal (which is almost complete), I believe I agreed to a Contract when I should not have. Is there a way to “safely” get out of or revise this contract?

28 April 2020 Reply

Hi Tasha – We would recommend that you consult with the car dealership or financial institution that you signed the contract with to discuss your options. They will be the most appropriate contact point. All the best.

29 April 2020 Reply

Hi,

I have had Scotiabank line of credit for the past three years and I was paying it monthly and I never missed a payment. A Few days back i called Scotiabank and asked them to reduce my monthly payments because my husband lost his job due to Covid19, and they reduced it for the three months. Yesterday they called me and told me to pay my full amount of $11k in no more than a month. They also said if I am unable to pay in full, then they will send it to collection. I am in a lot of stress and dont know what to do in this crucial situation. Please help.

29 April 2020 Reply

Hi Kiran – Although we wish we could help with this matter, it sounds like Scotiabank would be your best bet for discovering your options. We are unaffiliated with any financial institution. I would recommend you contact Scotiabank directly again as soon as possible. All the best and stay well.

1 May 2020 Reply

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.
Thanks

1 May 2020 Reply

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.

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