Standard Chartered cuts 15,000 bank jobs

3rd November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Standard Chartered is to axe 15,000 jobs and raise $5.1 billion, the Asia-focused bank said Tuesday as it revealed it was facing British probes, including one over anti money laundering oversight.

Posting a third-quarter loss, the British bank said the job losses were part of a major restructuring that will cost around $3.0 billion (2.7 billion euros).

"The business environment in our markets remains challenging and our recent performance is disappointing," Standard Chartered's recently-appointed chief executive Bill Winters said in a statement.

"The plans we have outlined today significantly reallocate resources."

The bank reported an unexpected pre-tax quarterly loss of $139 million compared with a $1.53 billion profit a year earlier.

Revenue slid 18 percent and impairment losses more than doubled to $1.23 billion.

Shares in the bank slumped 6.67 percent to close at 666 pence in London.

- Rights issue -

Standard Chartered said it would seek to raise $5.1 billion in capital from issuing new shares, while also ramping up its cost-cutting efforts.

It added it was refocusing on "affluent retail clients" rather than corporate and institutional banking businesses and would exit or restructure $100 billion of assets.

The bank had already in January announced plans to axe 2,000 jobs around the world in 2015 to make savings of $400 million. It had cut also 2,000 jobs towards the end of last year.

But Winters, former co-head of JP Morgan, has gone far deeper with the cuts since taking the reins from Peter Sands in June after shareholder calls for a boardroom cull following profit warnings.

Under severe pressure, the bank's bosses gave up their bonuses after profits fell by more than a third in 2014 to $2.51 billion.

- Britain probes -

In a further blow to the bank, Winters revealed that Britain's financial watchdog has opened investigations into dealings at Standard Chartered.

"We have two investigations with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) related to sanctions compliance and anti money laundering oversight," he said in a conference call.

"Those investigations are ongoing. (It is) impossible for us to determine exactly when those will conclude or the magnitude if any fine that could result from that," he said, adding: "We're cooperating fully".

Standard Chartered paid $667 million in 2012 to settle charges it violated US sanctions by handling thousands of money transactions involving Iran, Myanmar, Libya and Sudan.

It is under monitoring until the end of 2017.

Standard Chartered also said it was cooperating with "an ongoing US sanctions-related investigation".

In August last year, the bank was hit by US regulators with a $300 million fine and restrictions on its dollar-clearing business for failing to detect possible money-laundering.


© 2015 AFP

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