Standard Chartered on the Ropes

Bill Winters, CEO Standard Chartered

Emerging markets focused bank Standard Chartered has posted dire figures for 2015 its worst set of numbers since 1998.

The London headquartered bank reported a loss before tax of $1.5 billion after including restructuring costs of $1.8 billion. Underlying profit before tax was $0.8 billion, down 84 per cent year-on-year.

The results are a serious wake up call for the for the relatively new CEO Bill Winters who now knows the enormous magnitude of his task to turn the anaemic institution around.

His mission is made even more difficult set against a wide range of challenges and uncertainties notably the slowdown in key markets such as Greater China and exposure to the commodities sector.

Strong Balance Sheet

«While 2015 performance was poor, the actions we took on capital throughout last year and in particular in December have positioned us strongly for the current macro environment. We have a balance sheet that is resilient and we are in the right markets. We have identified our risk issues, and we are dealing with them assertively,» said Winters.

In an effort to turn the business around the bank, with a new management structure in place, has commenced a multi-year investment programme of $1 billion in core units of Retail Banking, Private Banking and Wealth, the Africa franchise and in RMB services.

The bank has also culled the global headcount by approximately 7,000 roles during 2015 with a further 2,000 cuts in progress.

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