June 3, 2020 / 1:59 PM / a month ago

Prudent for EU insurers to suspend dividends - watchdog

LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) - Insurers should continue to suspend dividends until the extent of economic damage from the pandemic becomes clearer, the European Union’s insurance watchdog said on Wednesday.

“We still believe it is a prudent approach... There are still a lot of elements of uncertainty,” Gabriel Bernardino, chair of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), told a webinar held by global financial industry lobby IIF.

EIOPA has asked the sector to suspend dividends to preserve capital, but French insurer Axa said on Wednesday it would press ahead with a dividend for 2019, although it would halve the amount.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn and Huw Jones

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