Canada’s six major banks announced last night that they are taking action to help its customers throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
Starting now, the National Bank, Bank of Montreal(BMO), TD Bank, CIBC, RBC Royal Bank, and Scotiabank, are committed to working with its personal and small business banking customers to help them manage challenges that some are facing including pay disruption during the outbreak.
The banks said that support will include a deferral of mortgage payments for up to six months, and provide some relief on other credit products.
“Our experts are committed to supporting our clients and answering their questions in these uncertain times,” Louis Vachon, the president and chief executive officer of National Bank, said in a press release. “We’ve always been there to help our clients when things are going well, but we are also there when things get tough. That is the heart of our commitment.”
Some of the banks are also taking measures to protect its employees and customers from the spread of COVID-19.
In their own press release, TD Bank said that many of their branches will be temporarily closed starting on March 19, 2020. Those that remain open, however will have limited hours and reduced staff.
“We’re taking further steps to protect our customers, colleagues and communities during this unprecedented situation,” the Group Head for Personal Banking at TD Bank, Teri Currie said. “We’re all in this together, and we’re here to help our customers and colleagues through these challenging times.”
Scotiabank also said that they will be gradually closing branches and reducing hours.
“While we are taking a number of extensive precautionary measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we remain ready to support our customers’ banking needs from coast to coast to coast and to provide relief measures to those impacted by the virus,” said Dan Rees, group head for Canadian Banking at Scotiabank.
RBC Royal Bank said that they are making a decision on which branches to temporarily close. They are also asking their clients to limit their use of branches to essential services only to reduce the spread of the virus.
Yesterday, CIBC said that today, 816 of their locations will remain open but will operate under different hours. They added that 206 of their banking centres that do not offer banking services to clients will be temporarily closed.
BMO said that they are temporarily closing 15 per cent of their Canadian branches over the next few days, and will be adjusting their hours.
As of Wednesday morning, Canada has 598 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19.