ECB Banking Supervision has issued a statement:

  • recommending that banks adopt a conservative and prudent approach to the distribution of dividends, taking into account the challenging economic and financial conditions;
  • stating that banks with a residual capital shortfall following the comprehensive assessment in 2014 should not distribute dividends;
  • restating that banks must continue to build their capital base to meet 2019 capital requirements; and
  • announcing an examination of banks' variable remuneration.

ECB has written directly to the significant banks with specific recommendations on the payment of dividends in 2015 for the financial year 2014. It has requested that national supervisors implement the recommendations for less significant banks. Banks whose dividend policies are not in line with the ECB's recommendations will have to provide additional information and explain their reasons in full. (Source: ECB Recommendation on Dividend Policy and Statement on Variable Remuneration)