Canada’s six big six banks say they will allow customers to defer mortgage payments for up to six months, in a March 18, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canadian banks move to help customers, allow deferral of mortgage payments

TORONTO — Canada’s big banks are moving to provide financial breathing room to customers hurt by disruptions from the steps taken to slow the spread of COVID-19

The big six banks say they will allow customers to defer mortgage payments for up to six months among other changes.

The banks urged Canadians or business owners facing hardship to contact their bank directly to discuss options that may be available.

The move comes as the large banks work together in their efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus by temporarily limiting branch operating hours and reducing the number of branches, while maintaining critical services.

Public health officials have urged people to limit contact with others in an effort to limit the threat of the novel coronavirus.

Businesses across the country have responded by cutting back, changing their operations and finding ways to allow employees to work from home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2020.

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