Saturday 20 January 2018

Standard Chartered reduces growth target

Steve Slater

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered has scaled back its income growth target for the next couple of years, as slower economic growth and tougher regulations bite.

Britain's fourth largest bank by market value, which makes almost all its profit in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, also said it planned to get rid of smaller, underperforming businesses as part of a plan to sharpen its focus on profitability and improve its capital strength.

The bank said its long-term target was still to deliver income growth of at least 10pc a year, but shorter-term growth would probably be "high single digit".

It kept its return on equity target of at least 14pc, but said it may not achieve that in the short-term either.

"We are unlikely to achieve double-digit income growth for the next couple of years," finance director Richard Meddings said at the start of an investor day for analysts. "In a world where GDP (gross domestic product) growth may slow and regulation and competition are changing, we need to adapt our framework."

The bank said concerns about Asia's economy after a slowdown had been overdone.

"The idea that this correction might turn into a full-blown crisis seems far-fetched. Asia is very different today to what it looked like in 1997/98," said chief executive Peter Sands.

Irish Independent

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