Australia’s second biggest bank has pulled a dividend payment to shareholders due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Westpac said on Tuesday it had decided not to pay a dividend for the first half of fiscal 2020, after delaying its decision from May.

“Given the desire to retain a strong balance sheet and the ongoing uncertainty in the operating environment, the board has now decided it is prudent not to pay a first-half 2020 dividend,” it said.

Westpac will next consider dividends when it releases its full-year results in November.

In the first half of fiscal 2019, the bank paid an interim dividend of 94 cents per share. Its final dividend was reduced to 80 cents.