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RBC Royal Bank takes decisive action to help clients impacted by COVID-19

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TORONTO (CANADA) – March 18, 2020 — Today, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) announced plans to provide financial relief to its Caribbean clients impacted by the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

Effective immediately, most RBC Personal banking clients in the Caribbean will benefit from an automatic three-month payment deferral on credit facilities. Business and Corporate banking clients are also eligible for the relief program, following individual eligibility assessments with an RBC representative. Automatic payment deferrals will be applied as of March 17, 2020 and remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until further advised.

To be eligible for the program, Personal banking or Business and Corporate banking client accounts must be current and in good standing as of March 2, 2020. Clients who are already participating in RBC relief programs for other circumstances are excluded from this program.

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The relief program is intended to provide flexible solutions and help clients manage through the impacts of COVID-19, such as pay disruption; childcare disruption due to school closures; or dealing with the COVID-19 illness itself.

These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of the financial system and the critical role banks play in the economy. RBC will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the evolving economic conditions in each country and territory where the bank operates. RBC may consider other relief measures, if necessary.

RBC has a long history of standing by Caribbean clients through challenging times and this commitment will continue throughout this crisis and beyond.

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Health

Worst COVID case count for China, Supply Chain interrupted and protests erupt over ZERO COVID strategy

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By Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer

 

#China, November 25, 2022 – Mainland China is experiencing record levels of Covid-19 even as the government struggles to enforce some of the strictest Covid-19 protocols in the world.  Upwards of 31 thousand cases were recorded on Wednesday, the highest ever according to the National Health Commission of the PRC.  Mainland China does not include Hong Kong or Taiwan.

An inspection of China’s COVID infections from March 2021 straight to February 2022 would look like an almost completely flat line.  There were no major recorded spikes over the 12 month period and case counts hovered largely under 2000 cases per day.  It took the swift spreading omicron to break that streak sending cases as high as 29 thousand in April.  Now this winter outbreak shot past those numbers.

With less than 6,000 deaths the country has been one of the most successful in the world at keeping its citizens alive but many disagree with the strict and often long lasting lockdowns.

Several cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have tightened COVID restrictions as cases surge.

Violent protests erupted last week in Guangzhou after the city was locked down over less than two thousand Covid-19 cases.  This week protests at an Iphone factory in Zhengzhou erupted once more this time over a pay dispute.

So far officials have not bowed to pressure to lighten the protocols and the economy is suffering, stocks fell steeply on Wednesday.

Supply chain issues have started to rear their heads once more as Apple is already warning that there will be delays in deliveries of their newest Iphone thanks to the Zhengzhou dispute.

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Finance

After Thanksgiving, its Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping which this year should see $158 Billion in spending

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

November 25, 2022 – Every year, after a day Thanksgiving holiday,  shops in the US both on line and on the corner slash their prices and residents flock to sites and malls to snatch up all the savings.  This year is no different and though the tradition originated in America, it has spread across the hemisphere with Caribbean businesses picking up the trend as well.

In addition to savings from local store owners, with the advent of online shopping, US marketed Black Friday  deals aren’t just limited to their home countries.  Residents across the Caribbean will be able to shore up on everyday goods, electronics, and Christmas presents offered from major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target and many others.

Some deals presented themselves earlier that Thursday and will last until 12 pm Friday.  But if you miss the sales don’t worry Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day of the year is coming up just two days after.

Started back in 2005, it was founded by the National Retail Federation for online-only sales and deals to combat the long lines and crowds of Black Friday and dethroned the traditional Friday as the largest shopping event. If you want the in store experience, Friday is your chance but for those who shop online the two are hardly distinguishable.

Experts at business insider say tech deals are better on Cyber Monday but only slightly so if you’re worried about something selling out, it might be best to pick it up on Friday.

It is also worth noting that over the years, even the Saturday in between has taken shape to promote smaller stores.  This shopping day is dubbed: Small Business Saturday and it ensure that the mom and pop or boutique-styled stores are not forgotten in the spending frenzy.

It is estimated that Americans will do 50 per cent of their shopping this holiday weekend; spending some $158 Billion.

Happy shopping!

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Caribbean News

Former Haitian Prime Minister demands apology from Canada 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti, November 25, 2022 – Following accusations of financing gangs and criminal activity in Haiti, former Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe has requested an apology from Canada.  Lamothe said he learned of the allegations through social media and was quite shocked.

He believes false information from his detractors was the cause of the “arbitrary decision” made by the Canadian government.

Five days ago, CBC News reported that:  “Canada has expanded its economic sanctions freezing the Canadian assets of Haitian political elites to include former president Michel Martelly and former prime ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean-Henry Céant.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly accused the trio this weekend of helping gangs undermine Haiti’s current government and called on international partners to follow Canada’s lead.”

Referencing his track record of fighting crime and maintaining law and order in the country, Lamothe said Canada’s accusation was absurd and inconsistent.

Lamothe called on the Canadian government to verify their sources and provide evidence for their accusations.  He added, however, that there is no concrete evidence which could prove his involvement with financing any criminal activity.

“I demand a public apology and reserve the right to go to the Canadian courts for the sake of defending my honour and integrity,” Lamothe said.

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