TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 6, 2016) - As Alberta deals with the devastating fires in northern Alberta, banks in Canada are helping those affected, and they are doing that in a number of ways including: making special accommodations for customers affected by this tragedy; collecting donations in branches for Canadian Red Cross relief efforts; and making corporate donations directly to the Red Cross.

"The destruction from these fires in and around Fort McMurray is truly heartbreaking and our thoughts are with the people in the region. And our thanks go out to the first responders, fire fighters and aid workers who are on the ground helping with relief efforts," said Terry Campbell, President of the Canadian Bankers Association. "Bankers live and work in these communities too and are committed to doing whatever they can to help those affected, so please talk to your bank."

The steps that banks are taking to assist the people of Alberta include the following:

Special accommodations for customers affected

Banks are putting financial relief programs in place for customers impacted by the fires. Customers are encouraged to contact their bank at a branch, by phone or online for advice and assistance. Some accommodations banks may be able to make include deferring payments and providing some fee relief. Banks can also address the needs of commercial and small business clients on a case-by-case basis.

Collecting public donations for the Canadian Red Cross in branches

Banks have long supported Canadian Red Cross appeals and the fires in Alberta are no exception. Banks are accepting cash donations from the public in their branches until June 6 to support the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Alberta. The participating banks are:

  • BMO Financial Group
  • Canadian Western Bank
  • CIBC
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada
  • National Bank
  • PC Financial - cash donations can be made in-store at Loblaw and banner stores
  • RBC
  • Scotiabank
  • TD Bank Group
  • Tangerine Bank - starting May 7, donations can be made online directly from customer accounts

Some banks have also made significant corporate donations directly to the Canadian Red Cross appeal.

Both the Alberta and Canadian governments have announced that they will match public donations made to the Canadian Red Cross. Donations can be made at the banks listed above or to the Canadian Red Cross online at, by calling 1-800-418-1111 or by contacting a local Canadian Red Cross office.

Banking services remain available

Banks have extensive business continuity plans in place to deal with events such as the fires in Alberta and these plans are now being invoked where necessary. Some branch service has been disrupted in the hardest hit areas, including those that are under evacuation orders.

Core banking technologies remain fully operational and customers are still able to bank online or by mobile device or telephone.

If you plan to visit a branch in one of the affected areas, contact your bank first.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 59 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 280,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness.

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Contact Information:

Kate Ballotta
Media Relations and Communications Specialist
Canadian Bankers Association
(416) 362-6093, ext. 219
Cell: (416) 587-7733