September 14, 2010 / 4:24 PM / 7 years ago

Canada regulator lifts blanket on bank div hikes

* OSFI imposed virtual ban on big capital outlays in 2008

* Move to lift constraints follows Basel III agreement

TORONTO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s financial services regulator has ended a two-year moratorium on large capital outlays by banks, which frees up Canada’s well-capitalized banks to raise dividends, buy back shares, and make large acquisitions.

The lifting of the capital constraints, which the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) posted on its website late on Monday, follows a weekend agreement on new bank capital requirements by global regulators studying how to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis.

“In light of the recent international developments providing greater certainty as to the reform of capital rules... (OSFI) will no longer require the increased conservatism in capital management,” the regulator said.

OSFI imposed more conservative capital management standards two years ago. (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)

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