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European banks should refrain from paying dividends - trade body

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Banks should refrain from paying dividends or launching share buybacks in order to preserve capital and keep lending to an economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Banking Federation (EBF) said.

"For 2020 the EBF believes that listed banks should not accrue dividends or undertake share buybacks so as to maintain maximum capital preservation and bank boards will be deciding on dividend policy and any distribution amounts at year-end," the EBF said in a letter on Thursday evening to the European Central Bank's supervisory arm.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Potter)