DNB ASA, Norway’s biggest bank, is postponing its $1.4 billion dividend as it gives in to calls from national and European authorities to show restraint during the current economic crisis.
DNB initially dragged its feet after Norway’s financial watchdog last month urged banks to refrain from dividends. The Norwegian bankers’ association, Finance Norway, argued the move was unnecessary and would create uncertainty among investors. But attitudes appear to have changed after the European Central bank advised the industry to halt such payouts.
“The Board of Directors is committed to support our customers though challenging times,” Oslo-based DNB said.
DNB will review its decision in the second half of the year. The bank also delayed its annual general meeting until June, from April. Dividends won’t be discussed until an extraordinary general meeting to be held by the end of the year, DNB said.