Bank of Canada acts to shore up funding liquidity

by Steve Randall13 Mar 2020

The Bank of Canada is to help bolster financial stability by injecting liquidity into the funding markets.

In a similar move to the Fed, the BoC is acting to support interbank funding amid concerns about tightening credit resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

“The Bank of Canada continues to closely monitor global market developments and remains committed to providing liquidity as required to support the functioning of the Canadian financial system,” a BoC statement said late Thursday.

The central bank is increasing the frequency at which it buys government bonds and is also stepping up its bond buybacks program whereby it sells newer bonds for older issues.

This will add billions of dollars into markets.

Along with further expected cuts in interest rates, the bank hopes that the moves will avoid a credit crunch which exacerbated the Great Recession a decade ago.

“In addition to using just the blunt tool of lowering interest rates, they’re trying to help with liquidity in the market,” Ian Pollick, head of rates strategy at CIBC in Toronto told Bloomberg. “They’re just liquefying the system. It’s consistent with moves we saw earlier today with the Fed.”

Federal finance minister Bill Morneau tweeted that “We are seeing volatility in the markets due to COVID-19. In the face of this uncertainty, we will continue to protect the health of Canadians and our economy. I want to tell all Canadians: we have your back.”

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