News

Feds seeking lower credit-card interest rates over COVID-19

Feds seeking lower credit-card interest rates over COVID-19
Business
OTTAWA - The federal government is asking banks and credit-card companies to lower interest rates on Canadians struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his daily update to Canadians Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is also looking at extending lower-interest credit directly to consumers.

“I can assure you that the finance minister has had conversations directly with the banks about credit card interest rates,” he said.

“We recognize that they are a significant challenge for many Canadians at this point. That is why we are encouraging them to take action to alleviate the burden for Canadians. At the same time we are looking at our end at making credit more available and less expensive for Canadians to be able to make it through the next few months.”

The Bank of Canada slashed its trend-setting interest rate to try to cushion the blow to business from a slowing economy, but credit-card interest rates, the ones that matter most directly to most consumers, remain high.

Trudeau said the government is spending billions on programs to help individuals pay their bills over the next few months as the novel coronavirus forces people out of work due to illnesses and enforced closures.

He says lowering the costs Canadians have to pay as they rely on borrowing to cover their expenses is another part of the effort.

Parliament passed an emergency bill Wednesday that puts $107 billion on the table to help, including $52 billion in health care spending and direct aid such as top-ups to child benefits and GST rebates, as well as payments to workers who have lost their income because of COVID-19. Another $55 billion is earmarked for tax deferrals, allowing businesses and individuals to put off paying tax bills for several months.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Sports
In this stock photo, a man s hand inserts a credit card into a payment terminal.The federal government is asking banks and credit card companies to lower interest rates on credit...
Business
OTTAWA — The federal government is asking banks and credit card companies to lower interest rates on Canadians struggling financially because of the COVID 19 pandemic. In his daily update to Canadians...
Sports
OTTAWA—Canadians may soon to be able to tap into low interest lines of credit backed by the federal government, the Star has learned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Tuesday that help...
Business
TORONTO Several of Canada s largest banks are offering reduced interest rates on personal credit cards for Canadians in financial hardship due to the COVID 19 pandemic. CIBC...
Business
Canada’s finance department is working with the nation’s banks on a relief package for small business, according to people familiar with the talks. The department has been in talks with...