REFILE-Barclays, Santander bosses call for return of bank dividends

(Refiles to remove extraneous word from headline)

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - The bosses of European banks Barclays and Santander have called on regulators to allow lenders to restart payouts to shareholders after blocking them due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they boost confidence in the broader economy.

“Being able to distribute excess capital is very important if the broader economy is going to have confidence in its financial system,” Barclays CEO Jes Staley told the Institute of International Finance online event.

Santander chairman Ana Botin added: “Going back to dividends is going to help the economy because it helps the flow of capital, it lowers the cost of equity, so I would like to put on that the table as something to be considered very seriously by global regulators.” (Reporting by Iain Withers and Jesús Aguado Editing by Rachel Armstrong)