Monday 7 March 2016 2:49 pm

Alliance Trust, City of London and Bankers Investment Trust: Dividends at these 19 investors have been raised for 20 or more years in a row

While high-profile banks such as Barclays and a number of companies have had to cut their dividends already this year, if you're an income seeking investor, don't be put off: the dividend heroes are here.

A list of 19 investment companies with at least 20-year records of dividend rises, dubbed the "dividend heroes", has been released by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).

The City of London Investment Trust, Bankers Investment Trust and Alliance Trust lead the heroes pack, with 49 years each of dividend rises.

A further seven companies have between 41 and 48 years of dividend increases, while British & American and Schroder Income Growth both enter the list for the first time with 20 years' of rising experience.

The City of London Investment Trust could become the first dividend hero to reach 50 years of consecutive dividend increases in 2016.

Company Number of consecutive years dividend increased
City of London Investment Trust 49
Bankers Investment Trust 49
Alliance Trust 49
Caledonia Investments 48
F&C Global Smaller Companies 45
Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust 44
Brunner Investment Trust 44
JPMorgan Claverhouse Investment Trust 43
Murray Income 42
Witan Investment Trust 41
Scottish American 36
Merchants Trust 33
Scottish Investment Trust 32
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust 32
Temple Bar 31
Value & Income 28
F&C Capital & Income 22
British & American 20
Schroder Income Growth 20

"After a bumper start to the year, with some well-known companies cutting their dividends, it's reassuring for investors that some investment companies have an unrivalled record of dividend increases," Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at AIC, said.

"Many investment companies have been able to increase their dividends every year because they have the unique ability to squirrel away some of the income they receive each year for bad times ahead," Brodie-Smith added.

"This is known as dividend smoothing and is a particularly useful feature to boost dividend payments. So it's not surprising that some investors may want to consider investment companies for their ISAs or pensions."