Lloyds announces quarterly dividend payments amid executive pay row
Lloyds Banking Group has announced plans to pay quarterly dividends from next year, ahead of a potential pay revolt at today’s AGM.
The banking giant said it will pay dividends from the first quarter of 2020 to provide its 2.4 million shareholders with more regular returns.
The lender will pay out three equal payments in the first three quarters followed by a bumper dividend in the fourth quarter. It currently pays dividends twice a year.
Last year, Lloyds investors received around £4 billion in total dividends, including a total ordinary dividend of 3.21p per share, up 5% on 2017.
The firm said it plans to return £1.75 billion to shareholders through a share buy-back programme this year.
Changes to the dividend policy will not impact the current buy-back programme or decisions regarding future buybacks, the company said.
The announcement was made hours before Lloyd’s AGM, where it is expected to be grilled following a row over pension pay.
Yesterday, MPs accused the firm of “boundless greed” over its pension plans for boss Antonio Horta-Osorio.
Frank Field, chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, launched a scathing attack on the group amid reports its management released a video to employees in an attempt to garner support for pay deals that will be put to a vote at the AGM.
Chief executive Mr Horta-Osorio received a £6.27 million pay packet last year, including a pension contribution of 46%, compared to a 13% maximum for other employees.
In February, he voluntarily reduced his pension contribution down to 33%.
In a letter responding to questions over the issue by the Work and Pensions Committee and BEIS Committee, Lloyds remuneration committee head Stuart Sinclair said he believed the reduction of Mr Horta-Osorio’s pension marks an “important step towards aligning executive pensions to the contributions received by the wider workforce”.
Mr Sinclair went on to say the group’s next review of pay plans for top bosses will “cover all aspects of executive remuneration” and will be put to vote next year.