STOCKHOLM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Sweden has no plans to cap bank dividends, Sweden’s financial markets minister Peter Norman said on Friday, following remarks earlier in the week that banks should take the possibility of stricter capital requirements into account when they decide on payouts.
Asked if the government had any plans to restrict how much of their profits banks pay out to shareholders, Peter Norman said “no”.
Swedish lenders have built up some of the biggest capital buffers in Europe in order to meet tough capital rules but the government is considering tightening rules further.
The four major Swedish banks - Nordea, SEB , Swedbank and Handelsbanken proposed paying their shareholders 66 percent of profits on average in 2013 - far higher than other parts of Europe and also higher than the 25 percent paid by Norwegian rival DNB.
Norman told Reuters on Wednesday that it was important that the banks understand that they could face tougher capital requirements ahead and they should take that into account when setting dividend policy.
Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Simon Johnson