Canada's six largest banks announced on March 17 plans to provide financial relief to customers hit by the economic consequences of COVID-19.

“Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank 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,” said a statement released by the banks.

Six-month payment deferral for mortgages

The support offered will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Individuals or business owners who are facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options.

“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,” says the statement.