Tue. Apr 7th, 2020

CaixaBank cuts the 2019 dividend in half and withdraws the meeting



CaixaBank’s board of directors has decided this Thursday to call off its general shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for April 3 in Valencia, due to the state of alarm due to the coronavirus, and to halve the proposed cash dividend for fiscal year 2019.

In this way, the entity will pay on April 15 a dividend of 0.07 euros per share, compared to the 0.15 euros originally planned.

In addition, it has modified the dividend policy for the financial year 2020, which until now contemplated the distribution of a cash dividend of more than 50% of reported net profit, a figure that now will not be more than 30%.

CaixaBank assures in a statement that it has adopted this decision “in an exercise of prudence and social responsibility”, in order to “adapt the bank’s position to the new environment”.

In this sense, the board has also agreed to reduce the CET1 solvency ratio target to 11.5% and to nullify the target of a ratio of 12% plus an additional margin of 1% that was intended to absorb regulatory impacts.

The board has also stated its willingness to distribute in the future the excess capital above the CET1 solvency ratio of 12% in the form of an extraordinary dividend and / or repurchase of shares.

However, the entity details, this extraordinary distribution of capital will be conditioned on the return to a normal macroeconomic situation, which will not occur before 2021.

All these decisions, ensures CaixaBank, are aimed at reinforcing the solvency of the entity and reversing the exceptional situation that affects everyone as a result of the coronavirus pandemic as soon as possible.

The entity maintains that the expansion of COVID-19 and the measures adopted by governments to stop the pandemic will have an impact on the economy that “is expected to be short in time, but very severe.”

Despite everything, CaixaBank highlights that its “solid solvency and liquidity position” allow it to face this crisis “with confidence”.

Another of the decisions that the board of directors has taken today is to call off the general shareholders’ meeting scheduled for April 3 in Valencia, the city where the group has its registered office.

Likewise, the CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, has renounced the variable remuneration of this 2020, both in what corresponds to the annual bonus and to the part corresponding to this year of the annual long-term incentive plan.

“Our mission is to contribute so that this health crisis does not become a deep economic crisis,” the president of CaixaBank, Jordi Gual, and Gonzalo Gortázar, highlighted in a statement, who recalled that the entity has activated in recent days a package of measures to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus.

Thus, for example, CaixaBank has made available to SMEs and the self-employed lines of pre-granted loans of up to 25,000 million euros and has advanced the payment of the pension to pensioner clients on the 20th.

In addition, it will waive rents to the tenants of homes owned by its real estate subsidiary BuildingCenter from April if they meet a series of conditions while the state of alarm lasts.

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