COVID-19 FAQ

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Loan relief from CWB  Canada Emergency Business Account EDC BCAP Loan Guarantee Continuing to manage and access your business banking

Loan relief from CWB 

I'm struggling to manage my cash flow given the impact of COVID-19. What relief is available from CWB?

CWB is committed to helping business clients experiencing financial stress as a result of COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis to ensure the solution fits with the client’s immediate and medium-term needs. Clients may benefit from flexible solutions on their commercial credit facilities, such as skip payments, interest only payments or an extended amortization, as appropriate to the individual situation. Please contact your Relationship Manager to discuss your options, including those announced by the federal government.

Read more about how we have your back during this uncertain time here

I’m self-employed and have a residential mortgage with CWB Optimum Mortgage. What’s the best way to discuss loan relief options?

CWB Optimum Mortgage is currently experiencing significant phone and email volume, so have created an online form to help manage requests for payment deferral. Once submitted, your request will join our queue and you can expect a response within five business days. Learn more about the financial hardship program in place

Business is very slow and I’ve received loan relief for the next few months. What more can I do to prepare for what comes next? 

Over the next few weeks, feel free to reach out to your Relationship Manager to talk about the medium-term.

You should also:

  • Create a new budget for the balance of the year by taking a close look at your revenues or anticipated revenues and determine if you’re able to cover your basic expenses. Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper for advice on whether to stay open, pause your business, shut down temporarily, or close your business indefinitely.
  • Create a plan for business continuity by thinking through any opportunities to revise your business model (for example, moving your products online). Also consider any inputs to your business, like your supply chain, that may need to be revised or adapted due to pandemic situations and regulations in other provinces and countries.
  • Review your commercial insurance policy to determine whether you are eligible for any coverage for business interruption. If you think you are eligible, call your provider to confirm.
  • Stay in touch with your clients, suppliers, vendors, etc. by phone and email where possible. It’s best to know how others are weathering the situation so you have a sense of forthcoming challenges or opportunities.

What about the other relief programs the federal government as announced, like the BDC Co-Lending Facility?

CWB is also working closely with the federal government and other financial institutions to understand this program in more detail. When finalized, CWB’s Relationship Managers will reach out to clients they believe to be eligible. In the meantime, we anticipate that BDC Co-Lending Facility will be subject to to-be-determined qualifications and will offer a term loan of:

  • Up to $250,000 for small business with revenues less than $1 million.
  •  Up to $2.5 million for mid-size businesses with revenues between $1 million to $50 million.
  • Up to $5 million for large businesses with revenues surpassing $50 million.

When available, CWB will work with existing clients to provide this loan, along with BDC, for a maximum of ten years. Interest-only will be an option for up to the first 12 months.

Canada Emergency Business Account

What is the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)?

The Canada Emergency Business Account is anticipated to provide qualifying business clients with access to a loan up to $40,000:

  • Offers 0.00% interest with no monthly payments until December 31, 2022.
  • Charges no fees.
  • Allows principal repayments to be made anytime, without penalty.
  • Allows for a $10,000 loan forgiveness when the outstanding balance (75 per cent) is fully paid on or before December 31, 2022.
  • Converts to an interest-only loan at 5.00% until December 31, 2025, if not paid in full by December 31, 2022. The loan must be paid in full by December 31, 2025.
How do I determine if I'm eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account?

Businesses are eligible to apply through CWB if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have an active business operating account at CWB that was opened prior to March 1, 2020, and use CWB as your primary financial institution.
  • You have been in operation since before March 1, 2020, and are an operating business (holding companies, for example, are not eligible).
  • You, as the applicant, have the ability and authority to bind the organization.
  • Your organization’s payroll expense in the 2019 calendar year was between $20,000 and $1.5 million.* You will need to provide:
    • Your employer account number, as reported at the top of the 2019 T4 Summary.
    • Your employment income reported in Box 14 of their 2019 T4 Summary.
  • As per the requirements of the program set out by the Government of Canada, you will agree to use funds from this loan to pay for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, and property tax.
  • You are not applying for this program at any other financial institution (note that you should apply through your primary financial institution as per above).
  • You understand that applying for this benefit at more than one financial institution, as outlined as part of the government program, may result in prosecution by the federal government.

    *Updated on April 17, 2020.

When and how will the Canada Emergency Business Account be available?

Effective Thursday, April 9, the Canada Emergency Business Account is now available for application. Clients who have determined their eligibility to apply through CWB should reach out to their Relationship Manager by phone or email to complete the remote process, including an eligibility review, an attestation and a loan agreement. Your Relationship Manager will provide a link for you to download and complete the applicable forms to be signed and sent back via email.

Please note that it may take up to five business days for the loan value to be applied to your account.

What information do I need to apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account?

Prior to speaking with your Relationship Manager, it is advised you locate your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid. You will likely need this form to identify and provide your 15-digit Canada Revenue Agency Business Number as well as the reported employment income (which must demonstrate annual payroll of between $20,000 CAD and $1.5 million CAD* as per eligibility requirements).

If you cannot locate your business’ 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid, contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525 and ask for a reissue.

*Updated on April 17, 2020.

How do I determine if CWB is my primary bank?

CWB is your primary bank if your business does the majority of its day-to-day banking, including payables and receivables and/or employee payroll, using a CWB operating account (for example, our Business Current Account, Cash Management Account or Organization Account). It does not matter whether or not you currently have a loan or lease with CWB.

If CWB is not where you do your day-to-day business banking, your must instead apply through the financial institution where you do this business.

I am a sole proprietor and use a CWB personal chequing account to manage my business expenses. Can I still apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account?

Unfortunately not, as the Canada Emergency Business Account is only available to business clients who have been a registered operation on or before March 1, 2020 and who have a business operating account. Sole proprietors are, however, may be eligible for alternative relief measures announced by the Government of Canada.

I have multiple businesses with their own business operating accounts at CWB. Can I apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account for each business?
If each of your businesses individually meet the eligibility criteria, each entity can apply for the account.
The federal government announced expanded eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account on April 16. Am I eligible now?

Updates to CEBA eligibility announced on April 16 are as follows:

  • The payroll range was expanded to $20,000 to $1,500,000, from the original $50,000 to $1,000,000.
I do not qualify or have been declined for the Canada Emergency Business Account. Where can I get more information?
Additional information at CEBA-CUEC.ca may help clarify why an applicant was not successful.

EDC BCAP Loan Guarantee

What is the EDC BCAP Loan Guarantee Program?

The EDC BCAP Loan Guarantee Program offers eligible businesses new operating lines of credit or term loans of up to $6.25 million, with 80% guaranteed by Export Development Canada. Funds must be used to finance operations in response to the impact of COVID-19, with allowance for normally scheduled interest and principal payments, and ordinary-course debt payments (not for repayment or refinancing of debt, dividend payout, shareholder loans, bonuses, stock buybacks, option issuance, or increase to executive compensation). Repayment schedules will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

This program features:

  • A loan term for up to 5 years, with 80% guaranteed by EDC
  • Loan subject to annual review with renewal submitted to EDC.
  • A 1.8% fee to EDC on the authorized loan amount that will be deferred for six months
  • Loan is repayable in full on maturity.
How do I determine if I'm eligible for the EDC BCAP Loan Guarantee Program?

Businesses are eligible to apply through CWB if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are a Canadian-based business with a current CRA Business Number (BIN).
  • Have been a client in good standing with CWB since at least March 1, 2020.
  • Government organizations, unions, charities, religious organizations, entities owned by any Federal Member of Parliament or Senator, and entities that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, age or mental or physical disability, contrary to applicable laws, are not eligible.

All applicants must complete and receive a BCAP Successful Application Confirmation through EDC prior to commencing their formal application with CWB.

Detailed eligibility information is provided by EDC.

Does my business need to be exporting given that the program is run through Export Development Canada?

No, this program is available to all Canadian businesses regardless of whether they export or not.

I have an existing loan facility with EDC. Can I use EDC BCAP Guarantee Program to top it up?

No, this program cannot be used to support an existing facility. It must be used on a new facility with the intent to use the funds for incremental liquidity in response to the impact of COVID-19.

Continuing to manage and access your business banking

How can I take care of my business banking needs while I work remotely?

Business owners can do many of their banking activities online or by mobile with CWBdirect Online Banking and CWBdirect Business Online Banking. You can:

  • View detailed balance and transaction reports for both your business and personal accounts
  • Transfer funds, and pay bills and taxes
  • Send, request and receive Interac® e-transfers
  • Deposit cheques
  • Upload and download payment files
  • Customize access based on the needs of your employees

Don’t have online banking but want to sign up? We can do that remotely when you reach out to your Relationship Manager or the nearest CWB branch.

With my employees now working remotely, we’re finding it difficult to obtain the correct signing authority on physical cheques required for suppliers, etc. What can we do?

CWB offers a variety of ways to ensure you can continue to make payments including electronic funds transfer to pay vendors, suppliers and payroll. Business clients can also use our tools to collect funds electronically, like rent or lease payments for example. If you’re currently not set up and would like to be, please contact your Relationship Manager or Cash Management Specialist to discuss your options.

I need to deposit cheques, but don’t want to come into a branch. What are my options?

CWB has a number of products to help business clients deposit cheques. Our three most popular, not requiring face-to-face transactions, are:

  • Deposit Anywhere via CWB’s mobile app.
  • Remote Deposit Capture which allows businesses to deposit large quantities of cheques with a specialized scanner in your office.
  • Our Day/Night Depository Service, available via a mail slot at all CWB branches. Note that staff are actively managing this service for same day credit, regardless of whether the branch is open to the public at this time.
Now that some branches are closed or on a reduced schedule for foot traffic, how can I complete my business banking?

Although we are closing some of branches to foot traffic, either temporarily or on certain days effective April 6, reduced branch teams are still actively providing full-service banking including night depository. Clients who need to access their safety deposit box should call their branch to make an appointment.

Clients are encouraged to continue to contact their Relationship Managers – most of whom are now working remotely – by phone or email during regular business hours.

In most communities, clients can also visit an alternate branch.


I have a CWB Visa Business Card. How can I find out about my travel insurance coverage related to COVID-19?

Clients with inquiries about travel insurance coverage should contact 1-800-463-1623 in Canada or the US, and 1-418-647-5299 internationally.

You can also log in to MyCardInfo for self-serve options including account monitoring and management, viewing available credit, and online claims submissions.

How can I set up direct deposit for my Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) payments?

Visit our CRA direct deposit page for immediate access to your CRA payments and benefits, including the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit.