Business Irish

Saturday 24 August 2019

Standard Chartered Irish arm to escape job cuts

A woman walks past a Standard Chartered bank in London. Photo: Reuters
A woman walks past a Standard Chartered bank in London. Photo: Reuters

Michael Cogley and Stephen Morris

The Irish arm of UK-based bank Standard Chartered may escape the bank's wave of cuts that will see 15,000 jobs axed.

A source told the Irish Independent that there is no breakdown yet about where the cuts would take place, but few, if any, are expected to the 40 or so jobs at its aviation leasing centres in Dublin and Limerick.

Of the 15,000 jobs to be cut, it is understood that a sizeable number will be down to natural attrition where they will be leaving their jobs naturally and their roles won't be refilled.

The majority of the cuts are to be made in South East Asia, where most of the bank's employees are located.

According to the source, the bank's aviation arm is sound and that there is no suggestion that it will be reduced in any way.

Standard Chartered shares dropped the most in more than three years after the lender said it plans to eliminate 17pc of its workforce, scrap the dividend and tap investors for $5.1bn.

Chief executive officer Bill Winters is seeking to restore profit growth. The bank announced the job losses to help save $2.9bn by 2018, according to a statement yesterday.

Standard Chartered will also restructure or exit $100bn of assets after it reported an unexpected third-quarter loss of $139m, compared with a profit of $1.5bn a year earlier.

Mr Winters scrapped the bank's dividend for the second half, the first such move since at least 1988, to save about $700m.

Winters (54) is seeking to reverse predecessor Peter Sands's revenue-driven expansion across emerging markets, which left the bank saddled with bad loans when commodity prices slumped and economies from China to India cooled.

His fundraising plan comes as British regulators prepare a second round of stress tests next month, with some analysts predicting a capital gap of as much as $10bn.

Standard Chartered shares fell as much as 11pc, the worst intraday performance since August 2012, and traded 8.9pc down at 650.20 pence at 11:50 am in London. They have dropped about 33pc this year, the worst performer among Britain's five largest lenders.

The sweeping job cuts are part of creating a "simplified" structure, are on a gross basis, Standard Chartered said.

The London-based lender had about 86,000 employees at the end of June.

Irish Independent

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