National Australia Bank cuts dividend, to raise cash amid pandemic

April 27 (Reuters) - National Australia Bank Ltd on Monday said it plans to raise up to A$3.5 billion and increase provisions to more than A$2 billion to guard against a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, and slashed its interim dividend by 64% to save cash.

Australia’s third-largest lender, which paid a dividend of 30 cents per share, also reported that its first-half cash earnings slumped 51.4% to A$1.44 billion ($919.73 million).

NAB had warned earlier this month that profit would be hurt by charges related to provisions it made last year after self-reporting anti-money laundering shortcomings and as a regulator accused it of charging customers “fees for no service”. ($1 = 1.5657 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)