Letter from Jacquie Hey
Our Bank was not immune to these challenges. At our Full Year Results in August last year, we announced we would defer our final dividend determination. At the time, we outlined that whilst economic uncertainty remained and the full impact of COVID-19 was still evolving, the Board was acting prudently in considering the interests of shareholders and APRA’s industry guidance on capital management, to defer a final dividend decision. We also indicated that we would continue to perform ongoing stress testing to support the Bank’s strong balance sheet and capital position.
At our Annual General Meeting in October, we provided an update to our shareholders where we outlined our expectation that market conditions would remain challenging and as a result the Board, after strong and prudent consideration, decided to defer its final dividend determination until the half year dividend considerations by the Board in February 2021. This decision was not made lightly and needed to take into consideration the continuing market and economic uncertainty and APRA’s industry guidance on capital management. We also recognised the difficulty the final dividend deferral may have caused to some of our shareholders.
Alongside this, our Board and Managing Director took a 10 percent reduction in Board fees and fixed pay respectively for six months from 1 November, outlining our belief that the burden affecting most parts of our society should also be shared by the Board.
As shareholders, I want to thank you for your patience and enduring support of our company as we navigated the dividend deferral period.
Our organisation is bigger than banking - we are part of the tapestry of thriving local communities, investing in community prosperity and supporting them when times are tough. This is something our customers, shareholders and people know us for.
I am pleased to confirm that following a strong first half of financial year 2021 in which the Bank delivered on its growth opportunities, managed costs and sustainably invested in its transformation, the Board declared a full year dividend of 4.5 cents per share along with an interim dividend of 23.5 cents per share. This result acknowledges the crucial support of our shareholders and the needs of our wider stakeholders within an environment of ongoing market and economic uncertainty.
Our sights remain firmly fixed on the new investments we’re making, the capability we are building in our people and systems, and the continued focus we have on simplifying our business and carefully managing our costs - all ultimately geared towards achieving positive outcomes for our stakeholders.
Like you, we care deeply about those connected with our business and the communities we all live and work in.
I thank you for your continued support.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.