Popular Inc. of San Juan, Puerto Rico, announced a 75% cut to its quarterly dividend, a move it said that will save it $68 million a year.
Popular halved its dividend in August.
For decades the company has looked at the U.S. mainland as an engine of growth, but the mortgage and capital markets crisis has turned its strategy into a liability. Popular, which operates Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, has about 200 branches in Puerto Rico and more than 90 in the United States. It entered New York in the 1960s, and in recent years it has added banks in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Miami.
Beyond the savings from lowering the dividend to 2 cents a share, Popular said Thursday that it is cutting other costs intended to generate savings of about $34 million a year. In addition, it plans to maintain its hiring and salary freeze.