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Canada’s five leading financial institutions lowered their prime lending rates by 35 basis points to 4% on Tuesday.

TD Canada Trust was the first to announce the rate cut, followed by CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank and RBC.

“TD Canada Trust’s decision to lower its prime by 35 basis points reflects today’s Bank of Canada rate change, as well as the decrease in our cost of funds due to government actions and market forces, allowing us to pass the benefits on to customers,” said Tim Hockey, president and chief executive officer of TD Canada Trust, in a statement.

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Wachovia Posts Record Loss

The Wachovia Corporation posted a US$23.9 billion third-quarter loss on Wednesday—the largest of any U.S. lender during the global credit crisis—as the firm prepares to be acquired by Wells Fargo & Co.

The loss, which stemmed mostly from an $18.7-billion write-down of goodwill due to declining asset values, brought the firm’s losses from the past two quarters to $33 billion.

The announcement comes after Wells Fargo agreed to pay US$15.1 billion for the lender in September after a bidding war with Citigroup Inc.

“The market environment changed more precipitously than anyone had expected,” said Robert Steel, chief executive officer of Wachovia, in a statement on Wednesday.

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Program Gives Canadian Employers Access to U.S. Healthcare

An insured critical illness treatment program is now available that provides members with access to U.S.-based private healthcare treatment facilities.

Insurance broker Marsh Canada’s Global Preferred Care program provides access to Canadian plan members for the treatment of conditions such as cancer and heart procedures at the top one percent of hospitals in the U.S.

The program is available to the employees and families of Canadian employers, and can be structured as an employer-paid benefit or on a voluntary, employee-paid basis. The program covers costs associated with diagnostic verification, transportation, accommodation and treatment.

“Most critical illness insurance programs offered in Canada are a financial solution to a medical problem,” says Steve Fretwell of Marsh’s private client services practice in Toronto. “They fail to address the reality of long lineups for treatment within the public healthcare system. This program is a medical solution to a medical problem, focused on prompt treatment by leading surgical teams in the United States.”

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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