The United Kingdom has reported 439 new coronavirus-related deaths, raising the total death toll to 5,373.

Globally, the death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new virus, has passed 70,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, while the number of infections rose above 1.28 million.

In a report, Aljazeera News said big banks in the United Kingdom have scrapped payouts to shareholders this year. So have many European banks. But across the pond, the top boss of the biggest bank in the United States by assets is still thinking about it.

JPMorgan Chase & Co’s chief executive Jamie Dimon said in his annual letter to shareholders published on Monday that he sees a “bad recession” in 2020, and that the bank could suspend its dividend payouts to shareholders if the coronavirus crisis deepens.

Dividends – payouts to shareholders – deplete bank capital reserves which they need as a cushion against bad loans. And there could be a tsunami of loan defaults in the pipeline as the new coronavirus shutters businesses around the US, throwing millions of people out of work.

Bank regulators in the UK and Europe have already pressured banks under their watch to cut dividends. But the US Federal Reserve has not made the same request of US banks.

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