03/18/2020 10:18 EDT | Updated 03/18/2020 19:23 EDT

Canada’s Big Banks Offer 6-Month Mortgage Deferrals ‘On Case By Case Basis’

Groups are also calling for rent payments to be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MONTREAL ― Canada’s big six banks say they are ready to provide financial relief to customers impacted by COVID-19, including deferral of loan payments “on a case by case basis.”

“This support will include up to a six-month deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products,” TD Bank said in a statement. 

Other than TD, the banks implementing the new policy are Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank and Scotiabank.

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In this stock photo, a woman is seen using a bank machine. Canada's big banks say they will provide financial relief to customers impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Other mortgage lenders have also notified customers that they will be flexible with repayments. Lender MCAP told customers in an email earlier this week that it will waive fees for customers using its hold-a-payment or skip-a-payment options.

The lenders’ move comes amid calls from some groups for the government to suspend rent and mortgage payments during the outbreak. 

Advocacy group Right to Housing in Toronto (R2HTO) is calling on the provincial government to direct the Landlord and Tenant board to reject requests for eviction for non-payment during the outbreak.

“Those whose housing is unaffordable, overcrowded, and precarious are often unable to afford to take time off work – whether for self-isolation or because they are ill, caring for ill family members, or looking after children whose schools and daycares are closed,” the group said in a statement.

Italy’s government has moved to suspend mortgage payments while the country deals with one of the world’s worst outbreaks of COVID-19, while lenders in the U.K. have said they are willing to suspend mortgage payments for those impacted by the virus.

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