BB&T Corp raised its quarterly dividend 1 cent and will pay a special 1 cent dividend in the second quarter, becoming one of the first U.S. banks to raise its dividend after finishing a second round of regulatory stress tests by the Federal Reserve.
The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank said on Friday it raised its quarterly dividend 6.7 percent to 16 cents per share, from 15 cents, beginning in the second quarter of 2011.
BB&T Chief Executive Kelly King, in an interview with Reuters, did not rule out an additional dividend increase this year and said the bank would review the shareholder payout more frequently.
The period we're coming out of was a pretty big trough, and as we emerge from that cycle, it makes sense to review that on more than an annual basis, King said.
The Southeastern regional bank paid a dividend higher than many of its peers in the months leading into the second stress test.
King said paying a higher dividend would be BB&T's first priority for returning excess capital to shareholders, with using the capital in a way that grows earnings a second. He said the bank would only consider share buybacks after the other options were explored.
(Reporting by Joe Rauch; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Gerald E. McCormick)