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Insurers are warned over dividends

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Critical: The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is based in Frankfurt

Critical: The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is based in Frankfurt

Critical: The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is based in Frankfurt

A CALL has been made for insurers in this country to be "named and shamed" if they plan to pay a dividend to their shareholders.

It comes after the European Union regulator for insurers and re-insurers told the sector to temporarily suspend dividends and share buybacks.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said in a Dáil reply that a number of firms have said they are deferring dividends, but he said others need to follow suit.

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus said this suggests some are still planning to pay a dividend. He wants these named.

FBD has been planning to pay a bumper €35m dividend to shareholders this year.

But analysts believe it may be unable to do so because several publicans are taking court action against it to force it to pay out over disruption in their trade caused by Covid-19.

Mr MacManus said: "I am deeply concerned that the minister could not confirm that all insurers have indicated that they will implement the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority direction not to pay dividends or their equivalent this year."

The MEP had a question asked in the Dáil by party colleague Matt Carthy.

Mr Donohoe said in his reply: "I understand that a number of firms have already announced that they are deferring dividends in this context. I welcome this and believe others should also follow suit."

Mr MacManus said the reply strongly suggests some insurers are still planning to pay dividends this year.

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These should be named and shamed, he said.


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