Norway Says Banks Can Resume Normal Shareholder Payouts Next Month

09/07/2021 | 09:31am

By Dominic Chopping

Norway's Ministry of Finance said Tuesday that as uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook has abated, banks in the country can resume shareholder payouts as they normally would, from next month.

Although not an outright ban, the ministry said last year that it expected Norwegian financial firms to wait with shareholder distributions due to uncertainty amid the outbreak of Covid-19. Updating guidance earlier this year, it said that banks should remain reluctant to distribute dividends until after Sept. 30, in line with a recommendation made by the European Systemic Risk Board.

"The economic outlook is significantly improved," Norway's Finance Minister Jan Tore Sanner said.

"Going forward, the banks should therefore be able to distribute profits in accordance with the regular legal framework."

The European Systemic Risk Board will soon decide whether to adopt a new recommendation on banks' profit distributions after Sept. 30. If and when it is adopted, the ministry said it will assess the possible new ESRB recommendation.

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-07-21 0930ET

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