Ottawa seeking lower credit card interest rates amid COVID-19 crisis

Lower-interest credit could be made available for Canadians

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is also looking at extending lower-interest credit directly to consumers.

The Bank of Canada has 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.

Speaking at his Ottawa residence this morning, Trudeau says Finance Minister Bill Morneau is in talks with major banks about doing things to narrow the gap.

“We recognizes they are a significant challenge for many Canadians at this point,” Trudeau said.

“We are looking at making credit more available and less expensive for Canadians to make it for the next few months.”

He says 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.

– with files from Katya Slepian, Black Press Media.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronaviruseconomyJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Santa Parade may be cancelled

Annual parade in Cloverdale has seen security costs skyrocket

‘The exposure is great’: Why this photo is a contest-winner for one Surrey adventurer

Nature photographer Eduardo Baena spends a lot of time in the wild

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

Cloverdale food bank sees surge in demand over short period

Lower Mainland’s newest food bank serves Langley, Delta, Surrey, White Rock

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read