Standard Chartered to cut jobs in Singapore, Hong Kong and London: Report

8 June 2023 – Standard Chartered is starting to lay off employees across Singapore, London and Hong Kong as part of an existing plan to cut costs by more than US$1 billion through 2024, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday (Jun 7).

The British bank had previously said that it aims to cut down US$1.3 billion as part of its cost-efficiency programme.

The total reductions could be more than 100, although a final number has yet to be decided, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg, the bank has started trimming roles in middle-office functions including human resources and digital transformation in Asia in the last few weeks.

A few managing directors in financial markets have also been cut in London, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

“It is part of normal business activity to review our role requirements on an ongoing basis across the bank,” a StanChart spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement.

The London-listed bank’s move is the latest among big banks cutting jobs.

Goldman Sachs is expected to reduce just under 250 jobs in the coming weeks, while JPMorgan Chase is cutting about 500 employees, Reuters reported in May.

StanChart, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, reported a 21 per cent jump in first-quarter profit, beating expectations, as rising interest rates buoyed income from its cash management and retail banking businesses.

The bank’s January-March pre-tax profit reached US$1.81 billion, above US$1.49 billion a year earlier and beating the US$1.43 billion average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by the bank.

It was StanChart’s largest first-quarter profit in nine years.

However, its biggest income earner – financial markets trading – saw weaker activity compared with last year when markets experienced record volatility.

The lender’s biggest market Hong Kong is still navigating a rebound after a prolonged period of economic contraction, Bloomberg noted.

The bank earlier this year sold its Jordanian business to Arab Jordan Investment Bank (AJIB) as the lender pressed ahead with plans to exit seven markets in Africa and the Middle East.

Image: (File photo: REUTERS/Caroline Chia)

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