BP agrees to suspend its dividend payments because of oil spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of BP's board says that the oil company will suspend its quarterly dividend as part of its commitments to compensate victims of the Gulf oil spill.

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg made the announcement Wednesday after emerging from the White House where he and other BP executives met for four hours with President Barack Obama.

Obama and key members of Congress in recent weeks have pressed BP to suspend the dividend payment and give assurances that the company will meet its commitments to Gulf coast residents and businesses economically harmed by the spill.