Covid-19, Access to Basic Banking and Alternative Financial Services

By Kevin Akrong

Introduction

There have been many changes to government benefits and banking practices announced since the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown began in March. We were curious to see what changes, if any, have been made to regulations regarding access to basic banking services and alternative financial products. This brief examines several issues. The maximum amount of a federal government cheque that must be cashed by a bank has increased. Although some alternative financial institutions (AFIs) have offered voluntary relief, there has been no change to the regulation of these products. This blog post outlines the changes to the rules for cashing government cheques at a bank and voluntary relief programs of the banks and AFIs.

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