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No relief for borrowers?

Chris McNeil says Canada’s banks are making it tough for working folks to dig themselves out of debt.

Chris McNeil says Canada’s banks are making it tough for working folks to dig themselves out of debt.

The 34-year-old administrative assistant finds it “troubling” banks only cut their prime rates to 3.5 per cent from 4 per cent last month, even as the Bank of Canada slashed its rate by 75 basis points to 1.5 per cent. And he worries banks may hold back again today.

The Canadian Bankers Association has recently argued that banks’ total costs of borrowing have not fallen as far as the Bank of Canada’s rate. The over­night rate is just part of banks’ total funding mix.

Some economists suggest consumers may not see substantial relief in borrowing costs soon.

While most expect the Bank of Canada to cut its overnight rate again today, not everyone is convinced commercial banks will pass on the full savings this time around.

“My suspicion is that they will pass only part of it along to borrowers,” said Erin Weir, an economist with the United Steelworkers union.

 
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