Many of our members are very concerned at the spate of recent dividend suspensions. Many members feel that private investors are much more concerned with the non payment of dividends than the problems at AGMs, about which we have blogged at length. Many members are somewhat surprised that ShareSoc have not pronounced on dividends, so it is timely to correct this.
Not only are many private investors heavily dependent on dividends, so are many charities and pension funds. These points are very well made in the article ShareSoc Patron Lord Lee wrote for FTMoney on dividends this weekend:
https://www.ft.com/content/69ccb860-4e05-4764-9a4d-295d8e4a19fc Private investors hit by dividend drought
We fully accept that some dividend suspensions are entirely justified. However, a number of companies making dividend decisions are not following the recommendations in the FRC infographic and are failing to explain properly their decisions in the information they give out in their AGM circulars and elsewhere.
We have today written to the FRC, FCA and BEIS making the points above and asking that they urgently look at the dividend issues and consider giving further guidance on this.
Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc