"the soonest any decision could be made on dividend restoration, says Rice, is January 2012 and all this would also be conditional on the state of the economy".The EU ban ends on the 31st January 2012 so a decision to resume dividend payments on the preference shares as and when they become due can certainly be made then. The question mark is over when the dividend on the ordinaries can be restored since the stopper period would appear to be a calendar year after the last non-payment of pref dividendfrom http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media/pdfs/investors/T1/20..."Stopper Period’’ means with respect to any Dividend Payment Date or the equivalent term inrespect of any Parity Security, one calendar year from and including the earlier of the date (i) onwhich a full Dividend is not paid on the Preference Shares or (ii) on which a full scheduleddividend or distribution on any Parity Security has not been paid;"and"5 Restrictions on Dividends and RedemptionIf the Company has not declared or paid in full a Preference Dividend stated to be payable as aresult only of the exercise of the discretion of the Board of Directors or the Committee then theCompany shall not during the Stopper Period:(a) redeem, purchase, cancel, reduce or otherwise acquire in any other way any Junior ShareCapital or the 2004 Preference Shares; or(b) declare, or pay or set aside any sum for payment of any distribution or dividend or make anyother payment on, and will procure that no distribution or dividend or other payment is madeon, any Junior Share Capital or the 2004 Preference Shares."In the stopper definition I note the use of the word "earlier" although i'm pretty sure it isn't meant to be used in this sense could Lloyds twist it to mean that the ban on ordinary dividend payments is one year from the earliest non-payment of the preference share dividend ? (I'm doubtful since in extremis such an interpretation would allow ordinary share dividend payments to resume after a year with no guarantee that pref share dividends would resume. But failing that I cannot see how Lloyds could resume payments on ordinaries during the 2012 calendar year).Dave
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