Laurentian Bank Financial Group reported its second-quarter profit fell nearly 80% from a year ago and it cut its dividend in a move to give it more flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Montreal-based bank says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share, down from 67 cents per share.

Laurentian chief executive Francois Desjardins says the bank has a strong capital and liquidity position and disciplined risk management, but it is a time for prudence.

The dividend cut came as Laurentian reported a profit of $8.9 million or 13 cents per share for the quarter ended April 30, down from $43.3 million or 95 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, Laurentian says it earned 20 cents per share for the quarter, down from an adjusted profit of $1.08 per share in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 38 cents per share for the quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Laurentian’s provisions for credit losses amounted to $54.9 million for the quarter compared with $9.2 million for the second quarter of 2019.