BOJ frees up banks’ dividend payments

Bank of Jamaica is advising that with immediate Effective, Financial Holding Companies and Other Deposit-Taking Institutions can choose to resume the distributions of dividends to shareholders owning more than one percent of issued shares that was declared for their 2019 and 2020 financial years.
Dividends for 2021 can be declared and distributed to all shareholders. Jamaica’s central bank reported the change after reaching an agreement with the financial institutions to resume dividend declarations and distribution.
The central bank has, however, stated that there are still significant uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, but BOJ continues to urge financial institutions to remain prudent in their decisions to declare and distribute dividends.
The central bank stated, “the agreement to resume dividend declaration and distribution reflects the fact that the quantum of loans that were afforded payment accommodations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen. In addition, BOJ believes that the worst of the impact of the pandemic on the economy is behind us, although the economic outlook remains uncertain. In this context, the Bank of Jamaica is of the view that the financial system has adequate capacity to absorb unexpected losses that could arise as the crisis unwinds. BOJ’s views about the evolution of system risks in 2020 are contained in more detail in the recently released report on Financial System Stability for 2020.”

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