Economic turmoil in the UK has left many investors sitting pretty. Profits that would usually have been invested in growth, new staff, or acquisitions has been stockpiled instead due to a lack of corporate confidence. The cash pile is currently worth around £750bn. The result: bumper pay-outs to shareholders totaling over £23bn in the third quarter of 2012.
This takes the total dividend pay-out for the year to around £78.6bn, reckons Capita, which compiled the data. That's a new annual record. And 2013 looks like it will be even more lucrative for investors in Cautious UK plc - dividends are forecast to top £81bn.
While interest rates remain low, equities remain a decent earner for investors. But there are signs that dividend growth is starting to slow. The figures for the third quarter are up just 10.4% on last year, the slowest growth rate in two years. Next year's growth is forecast to come in at 8%.
Still, in the current volatile market, any reliable growth is suddenly rendered wildly attractive.