The Federal Reserve has capped the level of dividends the country's top banks can pay, yet many of those lenders continue to prioritize such shareholder payouts. One of these is regional bank PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC), which on Tuesday declared its latest quarterly common-stock dividend. The company will hand out $1.15 per share; this will be dispensed on Feb. 5 to investors of record as of Jan. 19.

At the most recent closing stock price, the dividend yields 3.1%.

A customer withdrawing cash at a bank window.

Image source: Getty Images.

Like that of nearly every other big American bank, PNC's payout is not growing -- that amount matches the six preceding distributions. Before that, the company had reliably been raising its dividend once every year since the end of the Great Recession. From the beginning of 2010, it had grown more than tenfold, from $0.10 per share to the present level.

As in 2020, PNC investors should not expect a raise anytime in the proximate future. The Fed's current dividend limitations -- applicable to lenders like PNC that hold over $100 billion in assets -- date from early in the coronavirus pandemic, and were extended into both the fourth quarter of last year and the current first quarter of 2021.

As the coronavirus continues to rage and wreak havoc not only on the world's health but its economy, there is every reason to believe that more extensions are in the cards.

Still, the better banks are holding up rather well given the circumstances, and PNC certainly slots into that category. Yet no one should buy or hold this stock in the hope of a dividend raise anytime soon.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.