RBC Royal Bank’s chief executive officer said that the federal government is holding talks with banks to potentially introduce more relief measures to help Canadians struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As measures to combat the pandemic have effectively hit the pause button on the economy, the federal government revealed last week that the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 7.8% in March. While both Ottawa and the banks have already introduced several measures to help consumers deal with the fallout – including rate cuts and mortgage deferral programs – RBC CEO David McKay told Bloomberg that more programs are likely to come.
Read more: RBC economist projects housing sector to recover from impact of COVID-19 in 2021
“There are other programs that are being worked on that haven’t been announced yet,” McKay told Bloomberg. “There’s more that both sides are going to have to do,” McKay said. “As we think through these issues, there are elements where we see holes and therefore there are potentially options for more kind of consumer credit programs that fill gaps that could be put forward.”
Last week, the Canadian Bankers Association revealed that the almost 500,000 requests for mortgage deferrals due to the pandemic have already been completed or are in process – representing more than 10% of mortgages in the portfolios of the country’s largest banks.