He CEO of CaixaBank, Gonzalo Gortázar, wants to distribute a dividend to the 750,000 shareholders of the future CaixaBank. His hope is that the European Central Bank (ECB) will suppress the recommendation to avoid remuneration next year, since the body itself pointed out that it was a temporary measure to maintain the strength of the financial system in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
At this time, "we all know much better how far the problem can go and which entities can return to a reasonable (dividend) path", he remarked during the '11th Meeting of the Financial Sector' organized by KPMG. Of course, he has warned that the remuneration they should be more "modest" than before the start of the crisis. "It is logical that the dividend policy is adjusted downward, taking it to zero does not seem appropriate," he clarified.
If the ECB maintains its recommendation, Gortázar maintains that "a general punishment is created for the sector", since it would generate a "lack of confidence" in investors. He also recalled that the central bank carries out an "exhaustive" review every year on all European banks with which it can be determined which ones have the capacity to distribute dividends.
Along the same lines, the CEO of BBVA, Onur Genç, who has also been interviewed at the meeting. "I think this situation should be balanced, but it is a decision that corresponds to the regulator. We hope that it will be lifted in 2021," he said. Above all, because European banking is the only one that has the recommendation not to reward the shareholder, causing investors to choose US entities or other companies.
The BBVA's ability to pay dividends is "solid", as Genç himself recently assured at a conference organized by Bank of America. In this sense, he showed the bank's predisposition to resume its remuneration policy once the ECB has removed its recommendation.
Jordi Gual, CEO of Sabadell, is also in favor of recovering the payment to shareholders as soon as possible. "It cannot be that (banking) is a sector with little investment for funds and investors in general, because it will strangle the formula for economic growth," he remarked. Even so, he understands that "the logical thing is that this dividend policy in the coming months is prudent."
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