Fifth Third remains in conversations with the Federal Reserve Board about raising its dividend.
Kevin Kabat, the company's president and CEO, was asked by several shareholders during the Cincinnati company's annual meeting about the dividend. Fifth Third was barred from raising its quarterly payout following the most recent series of stress tests for larger banking companies.
"We are working with the Fed in dealing with" the regulator's objection to a dividend increase, Kabat said in comments confirmed by a company spokeswoman. "They did say financial performance is not an issue. I can't elaborate on anything else, although I would love to. Maybe in my memoirs."
At another point during a question-and-answer session, Kabat emphasized that the company is still operating with its shareholders in mind. ""I can assure the shareholders that our interests are aligned," he said.
Shareholders met at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cincinnati. During the meeting, they approved all of Fifth Third's director nominees and the company's executive compensation practices. Shareholders also backed a change that will implement majority voting for uncontested board elections.
Kabat also used the event to tout efforts to improve operations at Fifth Third, which earned $1.3 billion last year. "While our results in 2011 were impressive, we believe we're capable of achieving more," he said.