UK DIVIDENDS jumped 10.7 per cent to a record £110.5 billion in 2019, boosted by an exceptionally large £12bn of special dividends.

The latest Dividend Monitor from Link Group showed this was more than double the level they reached a decade ago, and meant that for every £20 invested in the UK stock market at the beginning of 2019, investors earned an average of £1.02 in income from their shares.

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The dramatic headline increase belied a more muted underlying picture, however, and underlying dividends - which exclude specials - rose just 2.8% to £98.5bn, the slowest increase since 2014.

Banking dividends rose by a third to £15.6bn.

Link’s preliminary 2020 forecast is for headline dividends to fall 7.1% to £102.7bn.