UPDATE 1-CIBC, RBC cut credit card interest rates to ease coronavirus impact

(Adds details of Royal Bank’s credit card rate cut)

April 3 (Reuters) – Royal 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.

CIBC personal credit card users who request to skip a payment will get a temporary lower annual rate of 10.99%, Canada’s fifth-largest lender said in a separate statement. (reut.rs/3aHZM9Q)

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

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 and Matthew Lewis)

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