Social Justice and Democracy

Canada’s unions call on banks to reduce credit card interest rates for all

April 8, 2020

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are calling on the country’s financial institutions to do more to mitigate the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic by further reducing credit card interest rates and applying new rates to anyone with a credit card.

“This pandemic has led to major disruption in the lives of many Canadians and is taking a financial toll. Many people have no choice but to turn to their credit cards to pay for basic needs,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “The banks have made some moves to help, but it’s simply not enough.

“With the Bank of Canada’s lending rate at a historic low, financial institutions have an opportunity to pass along those savings to help all of us weather this storm. It’s not enough to provide a break for only a segment of borrowers, forcing desperate people to jump through hoops; this policy must apply right across the board for all customers.”

Yussuff sent a letter to the CEOs of Canada’s largest banks and credit card companies late last week urging the reduction. That action is being followed by a broad campaign to encourage Canadians to add their voice to the campaign and to reach out to the banks as well.

So far, over 5,000 people have joined the campaign, sending letters and tweets to raise the issue and over 2,500 have signed on to a petition.

The CLC is calling on all financial institutions to reduce interest rates on all purchases made on credit cards after March 15, and all balances carried forward from prior to that date, for the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“This is a defining moment in our country’s history, and CEOs need to show solidarity and step up to support the common good,” said Yussuff. “Canadians are watching closely and are expecting every institution to do its part to help.”

A copy of the original letter is available here.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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