MAS Requests Banks to Conserve Capital
(30 July 2020 – Singapore) The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) called on local banks to cap their total dividends per share (DPS) for FY2020 at 60 percent of the amount in the previous financial year, calling it a “pre-emptive” move to bolster banks' resilience and ability to support lending under the current economic downturn.
Banks are also advised to offer shareholders the option of receiving dividends in scrip in lieu of cash.
“We are fortunate that banks in Singapore entered the COVID-19 pandemic with strong capital positions. All the same, MAS wants to ensure the banks’ capital buffers remain ample in the face of significant uncertainties ahead, so that they can sustain lending to the economy," said MAS managing director Ravi Menon.
“We have carefully calibrated the restriction on dividends, taking into account the needs of investors who may rely on this income,” he added.