The Suspension of Dividend Distributions and Share Buyback Programs for Stabilisation in Times of Crisis


In this article, authors Andrea Stockhorst, Renate Prinz and Frederic Peine provide an overview of the current regulatory assessment of dividend payments and share buybacks by credit institutions, in particular against the background of government aid programs and the flexibililty of regulatory requirements with regard to capital and liquidity presented by the banking supervision in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Following an assessment under stock corporation law of the suspension of dividend payments to shareholders, the authors to discuss the basic principles of the permissibly of share buyback programs, in particular authorising the management board through the annual general meeting, and implications under capital market law. The article concludes with an outlook on considerations and scope for action that should be taken into account when granting dividends and conducting share buybacks.