National Bank of Canada has provided C$800 million in loans to small businesses: CEO

FILE PHOTO: The National Bank of Canada logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - National Bank of Canada NA.TO has provided C$800 million ($567 million) 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.

(This story corrects company’s erroneous translation of value of small-business loans in headline and first paragraph to C$800 million from C$800,000)

Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama