RBC Chief Says Banks, Trudeau Government Discussing New Relief Steps

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s government is working with banks on more relief measures to help consumers cope with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer David McKay said.

“There are other programs that are being worked on that haven’t been announced yet,” McKay told reporters Wednesday in a conference call after his company’s annual meeting.

The government has crafted a number of measures to help consumers and companies deal with the economic shutdown. Some of those are being administered by banks, including a mortgage program that saw more than 500,000 payments deferred in the first few weeks and a small business aid plan whose launch McKay said is “imminent.”

“There’s more that both sides are going to have to do,” McKay said.

Designing programs on the fly could mean that some consumers, small businesses and larger companies will be impacted in ways not initially expected, McKay said. That means such policies need to be “somewhat dynamic” and adjust to circumstances, he said.

“As we think through these issues, there are elements where we see holes and therefore there are potentially options for more kind of consumer credit programs that fill gaps that could be put forward,” McKay said.

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