COVID-19: Banks Did Not Cut Ottawa Demand Interest Rates
Banks have still not heeded the federal government’s call to cut their credit card interest rates.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is still “working with the banks to encourage them to make changes to the credit card rates.”
Like last week, he also hinted that the federal government is planning to offer low-interest credit directly to consumers. In this way, Canadians will be able to benefit from loans “which will cost less than credit cards”.
Credit card rates, which are often very high, create additional financial stress for Canadians who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trudeau said Canadians who are economically affected by COVID-19 will be able to turn to all kinds of support programs, such as the Canadian Emergency Benefit.
He added that he does not want to see citizens emerging from the debt crisis.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Mathieu Labrèche, of the Canadian Bankers Association, argued that there are other credit products with lower rates and encouraged consumers to contact their banks directly to discuss their options.
Since the start of the crisis, the major banks have offered up to six months of mortgage loan deferral, as well as the option to defer payments on other credit products.