Appearance before the Standing Committee on Finance (July 7, 2020): Banks’ relief measures during COVID-19


Federally regulated financial institutions have been working with consumers who have requested financial relief assistance to find ways to help them through the impacts of COVID-19 since the end of March. Some of these measures have included offering payment deferrals of up to 6 months on mortgages, HELOCs, lines of credit, loans, auto finance loans and credit card payments. Additional measures also include offering credit card interest rate reductions, fee reversals and interest forgiveness. Banks have also provided seniors and frontline workers with designated branch hours.


In general, consumer requests are being approved provided their account is in good standing and they self-declare that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. No supporting proof of hardship is required for approval. A small number of requests are declined as they do not meet the bank’s criteria for approval; however, some consumers are offered alternative financial relief which include interest only payments, extending amortization periods, interest rate relief, change of payment amounts or credit restructuring. 

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