Banks mull special dividends

|By:, SA News Editor

Pressed by investors for greater capital returns, but muzzled by the Fed on regular quarterly payouts, a number of large banks are considering asking their D.C. bosses to approve special one-time dividends.

PNC CEO Bill Demchak - in the bank's recent earnings call (transcript) - said he's discussed the idea informally with regulators, and BB&T (BBT -0.9%) chief Kelly King raised the possibility of a special payout during his call (transcript). U.S. Bancorp (USB -0.6%) hinted at it as well.

“At some point the regulators will have to say to the banks, ‘You’ve done good, you’ve fixed your internal system, you’ve raised enough capital, now we don’t have any restrictions on your excess capital,’” says RBC's Gerard Cassidy.

Farr, Miller's Keith Davis isn't too excited by the prospect. “The lack of certainty would not play well ... You want stability, you want visibility, you want to know what your returns are going to be.”

Previously: UBS higher after beat and special dividend