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Chase Bank Forgives Outstanding Credit Card Debt of Canadian Customers

The Great White North just got a little greater for a number of Chase Bank customers.

The financial institution has forgiven all outstanding debt of holders of its two credit cards as it wraps up its exit from that country’s credit card market.

Holders of the Rewards Visa and the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa got the good news this week. The cards were shut down last March after 13 years, but some holders were still paying off the debt, with several still owing thousands of dollars.

Chase did not offer a lot of details when asked about the decision by Fortune, including how many customers were affected by the move and how much debt it will be writing off.

“Chase made the decision to exit the Canadian credit card market,” the company said in a statement. “As part of that exit, all credit accounts were closed on or before March 2018. A further business decision has been made to forgive all outstanding balances in order to complete the exit.”

So what would convince a mega bank to walk away from what could be millions of dollars? The company tells CBC it was the best decision for the bank and customers, hinting that forgiveness was probably cheaper than continuing to process payments or farm it out to a third party debt collector.

Parent firm JP Morgan Chase has seen record profits recently and seems to have shifted its focus to open more branches around the U.S. as competitors consolidate. The company announced last year it would open 400 new branches over the next five years.

The bank also became the first to offer its own cryptocurrency earlier this year.

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