Canada has heightened its response to COVID-19 in recent days. From coast to coast, individuals, organizations, and all levels of government are working together to minimize impact on our communities. To underscore the need to work together for the good of Canada and Canadians, politicians from all parties have approved a historic aid package to stabilize the economy and assist those most affected by the pandemic. Unprecedented relief measures for unprecedented times.
At Scotiabank, we are also doing our part, steadfastly focused on ensuring the people we serve and those we employ remain safe and secure. To that end, we have further updates to share about how we’re supporting our customers and our team through the coming days. To give you a bit more certainty during these uncertain times.
Help for small business owners
Small business owners are among those hardest hit by COVID-19. Scotiabank, together with other leaders in the banking community, has been consulting with the government on measures to support small businesses through this time. Prime Minister Trudeau just announced some of those new measures, including the Canada Emergency Business Account, designed specifically to help small- and medium-sized employers with their most pressing needs and position the economy to recover.
The Canada Emergency Business Account is an interest-free loan of $40,000, guaranteed by the government, for qualifying businesses—and up to $10,000 of that amount will be forgivable for businesses meeting certain conditions. Once finalized with the government and other banks, full details and qualification criteria will be published to our FAQs. We plan to handle applications via an online portal only (to be launched shortly)—to ensure equal and efficient access for all.
Small business customers looking for other assistance, including payment deferrals on small business credit cards, credit lines, and loans—or tailored advice for managing liquidity concerns—should reach out to their Small Business Advisor or Relationship Manager.
Enhanced support and safety for our customers
We are introducing specialized support for those most susceptible to COVID-19, so we can meet their needs safely. At all Scotiabank branches across the country, we are prioritizing service for those over the age of 65 and other vulnerable customers. In our busiest locations, we are also installing plexiglass dividers and floor decals to enable physical distancing. We also have a senior-level executive serving as our Seniors Champion, ensuring we continue to prioritize the needs of seniors through this period of uncertainty and beyond
Recognition of our team
I’m incredibly proud of how our team has rallied together to help our customers and each other over the last few weeks. In recognition of their commitment, we are introducing additional financial support for Scotiabankers providing onsite support in our branches, call centres, and operations centres across our footprint. The team remains focused on ensuring our customers’ financial needs are met: this special measure acknowledges the additional dedication it requires to stand ready to serve during these challenging times.
Additional relief measures
We communicated earlier about the additional relief measures we’ve introduced to those who need assistance most. I’d like to highlight that we continue to make more support available—including online tools to apply for mortgage payment deferrals and auto loan payment deferrals (coming soon). For a detailed list of the current relief options and how they might apply to you, please visit us at scotiabank.com/covid-19 and have a look at our regularly updated FAQs.
We know that Contact Centre wait times are longer than normal across the industry and ask for your patience. Unless you have a payment due in the next few days, we ask you to allow us some time to take care of those with the most immediate needs first. If you’re worried about reaching us before you become ineligible for financial relief, don’t be. We’re taking the time to work with customers through all possible solutions, and we’ll do the same for you as well.
We’re here to help you navigate this time of uncertainty—in our branches, online 24/7, and over the phone. Whether you reach us today, tomorrow, or later next week, we’ll do our best to help find a solution that works.
Be safe. Stay strong. And be certain we’ll get through this together.
Group Head, Canadian Banking