Since Canada’s big six banks announced two weeks ago plans to offer deferred payments on mortgages and other loans, almost a half-million such requests have been made.
According to the Canadian Bankers Association, nearly 500,000 requests have been made to the Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Royal Bank, Scotiabank, TD Bank and National Bank.
Arrangements include mortgage deferrals of up to six months, due to pandemic-related financial hardship.
The Canadian Bankers Association said the nation’s largest six banks have thus far deferred more than 10 per cent of the mortgages in their portfolios.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the average monthly mortgage payment of Canadian homeowners is $1,326. Therefore, the cash flow freed up for Canadians from the deferrals completed to date is roughly $663 million per month, or nearly $2 billion per quarter. This Canadian Banking Association said this number will increase in the coming weeks.
More than two-million Canadians applied for employment insurance in recent weeks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses shut their doors or scale back operations.
The federal government has responded with the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, as well as billions in new spending to help the economy and fight the virus.