Dutch central bank gives insurers room to resume dividend payments

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch central bank (DNB) said on Monday that insurers could restart dividend payments later this year, as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on their balance sheets has been less dramatic than feared.

The DNB in April urged insurers to suspend dividend payments as it was unclear whether their capital buffers could withstand the coronavirus outbreak. The bank was following recommendations by European insurance supervisor EIOPA.

On Monday the DNB said insurers with strong capital positions could begin to draw up plans for resuming payouts, although it still advised all financial institutions to not pay dividends or buy back shares until at least the end of the year.

“The direct impact of the coronacrisis on insurers in general has so far been limited,” the central bank said.

“Against this background, DNB will take dividend proposals by insurers under normal consideration again.”

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Susan Fenton