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Swiss private bank Julius Baer has followed the footsteps of its peers by planning to split its 2019 dividend payout of CHF1.50 into two tranches amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bank has now decided to give the first dividend payment instalment of CHF0.75 on 25 May 2020.

Another distribution of the same amount is scheduled in November this year after the bank conducts an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Additionally, the private bank deferred its Ordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM) from 16 April 2020 to 18 May 2020, when the changes will be voted on by shareholders.

The dividend revision is in response to a request by the Swiss financial watchdog FINMA even though the bank stressed that its Q1 performance was “robust”.

Julius Baer chairman of the board of directors Romeo Lacher: “Julius Baer is adhering to this request from FINMA despite our continued strong capital, funding and liquidity position, which would have comfortably allowed us to pay the initially proposed dividend, and despite our strong performance in the first quarter of 2020.

“However, our decision is aligned with those of our peers and marks our commitment for a joint and united effort by all parties involved in the face of the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.”

The bank already donated CHF5m for emergency relief efforts associated with the pandemic.

UBS and Credit Suisse took a similar approach recently after agreeing to delay paying out a portion of their 2019 dividends following regulatory pressure.