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FMA and European supervisory institutions recommend banks and insurance undertakings to refrain from dividend distributions and share buy backs this year as well as to pursue a conservative remuneration policy

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The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), in line with the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), the European Central Bank (ECB) as well as the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), urgently recommends Austrian banks and insurance undertakings to continue to refrain from dividend distributions as well as share buy backs and to continue their conservative remuneration policy. The FMA has today explicitly informed that Austrian banking industry and the insurance sector about this in a letter.

“In light of continuing economic uncertainty due to the global COVID-19 crisis now is not the time to be discussing about dividends, share buy backs or comprehensive remuneration packages,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller: “Supervisors at European and national level all agree on this, and we have reached identically worded decisions together.” The recommendation in this regard that was published on 27 March 2020 is thereby extended until at least the end of the year.

Austria’s banks and insurance undertakings are called upon to conserve their healthy capital base and to further strengthen it, in order to be well equipped for the substantial challenges arising from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to be able to provide power support for the Austrian economy in a rapid upturn, the FMA’s Executive Board Members remarked further. The FMA and the European supervisory institutions will for their part also continue to support the financial economy with the greatest possible regulatory and supervisory flexibility, provide help to the real economy and make their contribution towards overcoming the COVID-19 crisis.

Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)

+43/(0)1/24959-6006, or +43/(0)676/882 49 516