BANKS OK UP TO $2.76B OF LOANS
Canada’s five biggest banks approved about 69,000 in loans on the opening day of the federal relief program for small businesses hurt by COVID-19. That totals $2.76 billion if every client took the full amount allowed under the Canada Emergency Business Account, which offers government-guaranteed loans of as much as $40,000 that are interest-free through 2022. The government announced the $25 billion plan on March 27, and lenders started accepting applications Thursday. Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest lender by assets, had 19,500 applications. That would equal about $780 million if every client asked for the full amount. Toronto-dominion Bank, the second-largest lender, completed more than 25,000 loans, which could equal $1 billion. Bank of Nova Scotia said it had processed 7,500 loans amounting to more than $300 million.