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National Bank of Canada has provided C$800,000 in loans to small businesses-CEO

TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - National Bank of Canada has provided C$800,000 ($567,899) in interest-free loans to about 20,000 small business and not-for-profit applicants since it began offering them on April 9, the lender’s chief executive said on Friday.

The smallest of Canada’s Big Six banks has also granted 3,000 moratoriums on repayment of principal for up to 6 months, CEO Louis Vachon said at its annual shareholder meeting.

Canadian banks have processed about 710,000 mortgage deferrals or skipped payments, accounting for 15% of their home loan portfolios, the Canadian Bankers Association said on Twitter on Thursday. ($1 = 1.4087 Canadian dollars) (Reporting By Nichola Saminather Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)