By Dow Jones Business News, March 14, 2013, 05:30:00 PM EDT
By Tess Stynes
A number of big U.S. banks announced plans for dividends and stock buybacks following the latest round of stress
Among the biggest U.S. banks--a group that includes Citigroup Inc. ( C ) and Wells Fargo & Co. ( WFC ) as well as JP
Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ), Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ( GS ) and Morgan Stanley ( MS )--that
received the green light on their capital plans were:
Bank of America's board approved the repurchase of $5 billion of its shares and the redemption of about $5.5 billion
in preferred stock. The lender's capital plan didn't include a request to raise its quarterly dividend.
JP Morgan was authorized to buyback an additional $6 billion of stock starting in April and the board plans to raise
the company's quarterly dividend to 38 cents a share as of the second quarter.
Wells Fargo said its capital plan was approved and confirmed that it includes a proposed quarterly dividend of 30
cents a share for the second quarter and stepped up share repurchases over 2012 levels, which were about nearly $4
billion of its stock.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley said that the go-ahead from the Fed allows Morgan to buy the rest of its wealth-management
joint venture from Citigroup.
The Federal Reserve last week said the annual stress test showed that 17 of the 18 largest U.S. banks have enough
capital to keep lending in a hypothetical sharp economic downturn, a sign the financial system is better prepared to
weather the storm far better than during the financial crisis. The signs of the financial industry's improving health
also potentially cleared the way for large U.S. banks to funnel tens of billions of dollars to investors through
increased dividend payments and share buybacks.
U.S. trust banks--a group that includes State Street Corp. ( STT ), Bank of New York Mellon Corp. ( BK ) and Northern
Trust Corp. ( NTRS )--that received the green light on their capital plans and unveiled plans were:
BNY Mellon's board approved the repurchase of $1.35 billion of its stock, starting in the second quarter. The lender
said that its capital plan includes a 15% increase in its second-quarter stock dividend, which the board is expected to
consider next month.
Among credit-card lenders, American Express Co. ( AXP ) plans to raise its quarterly dividend to 23 cents and repurchase
as much as $3.2 billion of its stock during the last three quarters of 2013.
Capital One Financial Corp. ( COF ) plans to boost its quarterly dividend to 30 cents a share from the previous nickel
a share starting with the first quarter, subject to final board approval.
Write to Tess Stynes at Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com
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