NCB’s dividend distribution still on hold amid strategic pivot Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

In a strategic move aimed at bolstering capital reserves, NCB Financial Group (NCBFG) has announced its decision to suspend the payment of an interim dividend.

This announcement came to the fore during the 2023 third-quarter investor briefing on Thursday morning, where NCBFG’s Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, underscored the institution’s commitment to a prudent capital conservation strategy.

Lee-Chin has, however, committed to resuming dividend payments by year-end.

This is the company’s first investor briefing since it was announced that Patrick Hylton and Dennis Cohen are leaving the business after nearly 40 years combined.

Lee-Chin expounded on the group’s strategic direction, highlighting a tripartite focus encapsulated by the acronym EGC – Efficiency, Governance, and Customer Experience.

He said NCBFG aims to prioritize these areas as it charts a course back to distributing dividends to its valued investors.

During the investor briefing, Lee-Chin expressed unwavering confidence in NCBFG’s concerted efforts toward operational efficiency, enhanced governance practices, and an elevated customer experience.

“We are confident that our focus on Efficiency, Governance, Customer Experience (EGCe), will result in desirable outcomes for all stakeholders. Our shareholders will be rewarded for their loyalty with a return to consistent dividends as a result of our focus on efficiency and our customers will benefit from an enhanced experience. These are not promises, but commitments that we share publicly so you can hold us to account.”

Echoing these sentiments, NCBFG’s Interim Group CEO, Robert Almeida, echoed the leadership team’s unswerving dedication to forging a pathway toward distributable profits and the eventual reinstatement of predictable dividend disbursements.

Almeida said NCBFG is intensely focused on growing and optimising the available capital pool to ensure the continued growth, safety and soundness of the company and its operating subsidiaries and create a clear pathway to distributable profits and consistent dividend payments.

“We have intensified our efforts in identifying and implementing operating and capital efficiency initiatives as a key enabler to drive this significant outcome, and billions of annually recurring cost savings are already being actioned,” Almeida disclosed.

Almeida went on to note that conserving capital is prudent to ensure the organisation is most resilient in a world of change.

He shared that the continued absence of dividends to shareholders is not aligned with NCBFG’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of all our stakeholders.

“Through an intense focus on operating efficiency and capital efficiency, as well as other strategies, we intend to return to the pattern of regular dividend declarations whilst we simultaneously meet the increasing regulatory capital requirements that are being implemented globally,” he said.