PARIS (Reuters) – French banks, Societe Generale and Natixis joined a cohort of European peers that announced plans to skip 2019 dividends following the European Central Bank’s guidance to direct profits toward supporting the economy during the coronavirus crisis.
France’s third-largest bank Societe Generale said on Tuesday its board has decided to cancel dividend distribution for the 2019 financial year and to drop 2020 financial targets.
The bank added it was currently analyzing potential scenarios and their impact on the bank’s results from the crisis, as well as “potential corrective measures”.
SocGen also sought to reassure investors, saying it had a solid balance sheet and was committed to improving profitability.
SocGen said its board would propose guidelines on dividends in the second half of the year, that could consist in the payment of an interim dividend on 2020 results or an exceptional dividend in the form of a distribution of reserves.
French investment bank Natixis also decided to skip 2019 dividends, saying its board will reconsider this decision after Oct. 1 in order to allow for a potential distribution.
(Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; editing by Grant McCool)