March 15, 2020 / 10:49 PM / 20 days ago

JPMorgan halts stock buybacks, citing customer needs during coronavirus

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has decided to stop buying back its own shares amid the coronavirus outbreak, and will instead use that capital to lend, the biggest U.S. bank said on Sunday.

JPMorgan’s decision follows pressure from U.S. lawmakers - who urged big banks last week to stop using funds for stock repurchases and instead help the economy - and as its home city, New York, took further steps to contain the virus.

JPMorgan said in a statement that it will use the extra funds to support lending to individuals, business owners and governments, and add liquidity in capital markets, “even if circumstances get dramatically worse.”

The bank’s dividend payments will remain stable, it said. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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