BoE says it does not aim to set bank dividends under normal circumstances

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Wednesday that he wanted British banks to set dividends freely, and that the BoE’s decision last year to temporarily bar dividend payments was an exceptional decision due to COVID turmoil.

“It is not our intention as regulators to take over setting dividends,” Bailey told a British parliament committee.

“We did it ... in a very, very particular and special circumstance,” he added.

The BoE allowed British banks to resume paying dividends in December as the financial stability impact of coronavirus had become clearer.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, writing by David Milliken, editing by Huw Jones