(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) could consider suspending dividend for 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said on Monday, even as the bank rolled out relief measures for customers and small businesses.

The No.1 U.S. bank by assets could look at the dividend if the gross domestic product were to fall by as much as 35% in the second quarter and unemployment rate were to plunge further to 14% in the fourth quarter of the year, Dimon wrote in his annual letter to shareholders.

“If it were to play out, the Board would likely consider suspending the dividend even though it is a rather small claim on our equity capital base. If the Board suspended the dividend, it would be out of extreme prudence and based upon continued uncertainty over what the next few years will bring,” Dimon said.

Dimon highlighted several other challenges that the bank is facing, saying its call centers have struggled in the current environment, with many of them effectively shutting down due to local restrictions.

JPMorgan will extend benefits to customers hit hard by the health crisis, by introducing measures such as waivers for late fees and a 90-day grace period for mortgage and auto loan payments, according to the letter.

The bank said it had extended about $950 million in new loans to small businesses and would continue to extend credit to small businesses in the current environment.

“In both our central case scenario for 2020 results and in our extremely adverse scenario, we are lending – currently or plan to do so – an additional $150 billion for our clients’ needs,” Dimon said.

JPMorgan will nominate former International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) Chief Executive Officer Virginia “Ginni” Rometty for election to its board. Rometty will become the executive chairman of IBM on April 6.

Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian arm, appoints its third CEO in three years

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada, a unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), on Friday named its third chief executive in three years – a move that comes after it lost ground last year to rival Shopee.…

Russia expects OPEC+ to ease oil production cuts in August

OPEC+, led by Russia and OPEC’s top producer Saudi Arabia, agreed in June to extend the record production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by one month through the end of July.  According to the original agreement reached in April,…

China’s 2020 economic performance helps global economy: media

WASHINGTON — China’s exceptional performance in 2020 has helped the global economy in the face of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. While the World Bank projected the global economy to have pulled back by 4.3…

Elliott built a stake in Twitter, is pushing for changes: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which often pushes technology companies to improve operations, has built a stake in Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and is pushing for changes, including removing the chief executive officer, two people familiar with…