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BoE backs EU call for insurers to reconsider dividends in pandemic

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - The Bank of England said on Friday it backed calls from the European Union's insurance regulator for insurers to pay close attention to protecting policyholders when deciding whether to pay dividends or bonuses.

"We therefore expect firms to be prudent in deciding on dividend payments or variable remuneration in view of the elevated levels of uncertainty presented by coronavirus and its impact on the global economy," a Bank of England spokesperson said.

Shares in top European insurers sank on Friday after the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority said on Thursday evening that insurers should suspend dividends and share buybacks, and postpone bonuses where possible. (Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alison Williams)