Fed to soon give green light on bank dividends

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 17, 2011; 5:27 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve plans to tell some major banks on Friday whether they are healthy enough to boost stock dividends.

Banks can increase dividends if they pass "stress tests" showing that they can weather another recession.

All of the 19 largest banks overseen by the Fed were subject to the examinations - even if they didn't intend to increase their dividend payments. Those banks include Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo.

The Fed's first stress tests were conducted in 2009 when the country was reeling from a severe recession and financial crisis. Those results were made public in a move to boost confidence in the fragile U.S. banking system.

© 2011 The Associated Press