UPDATE 2-Three Canadian banks cut credit card interest rates to ease coronavirus impact

(Adds details of National Bank of Canada moves)

April 3 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said on Friday they are cutting interest rates on credit cards to provide relief to customers as the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic deepens.

Royal Bank will reduce credit card interest charges by 50% for clients receiving minimum payment deferrals, Canada’s biggest lender said in a statement.

National Bank will allow credit card customers to defer minimum payments for up to 90 days and reduce annual interest rates to 10.9% for these clients, it said.

CIBC too will reduce interest rates to 10.99% on personal credit cards for users who request to skip a payment, Canada’s fifth-largest lender said. (reut.rs/3aHZM9Q)

Most Royal Bank and CIBC credit cards charge 19.99% interest on purchases. Most National Bank cards charge 20.99%.

National Bank said it will refund additional interest accrued on deferred mortgage payments. The lender will also waive fees for transfers and stop payments on checks and pre-authorized debts, and will not charge overdraft fees on checking and high-interest savings accounts, it said.

Canada’s six biggest banks unveiled a mortgage-relief plan two weeks ago to allow homeowners to defer or skip mortgage payments for up to six months as businesses come to a grinding halt due to the pandemic.

Since the mortgage-relief plan was announced, the banks have received nearly half a million requests that have been completed or were being processed. (Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru and Nichola Saminather in Toronto Editing by Aditya Soni, Matthew Lewis and Cynthia Osterman)

Source: Read Full Article