Yves Mersch signalled that banks are free to pay dividends from the next year

Banks that are in good shape may start distributing dividends to their shareholders again next year. This is what Mr Yves Mersch of the European Central Bank (ECB) said.

According to Yves Mersch, it is legally difficult to maintain the ban any longer. In addition, it is expected that the United Kingdom and the United States will again allow banks to pay dividends.

The ECB asked banks at the end of March not to pay dividends during the COVID-19 crisis. This money could be better managed by the financial institutions in order to have an extra buffer, for example, to take the hit from loans to businesses and consumers that could not be repaid. The purchase of own shares was also out of the question.

In July, the central bank repeated the call for a different use of the money until the end of the year. The ECB has previously indicated that it will take a new decision in December.

Last month, a possible intermediate solution was already squinted. In addition, certain banks, which are well-organized, could pay dividends. But the part of the profit they can pay out remains limited in the first instance.