Standard Chartered net profit falls 37%

GMT 11:56 2015 Wednesday ,04 March

Arab Today, arab today Standard Chartered net profit falls 37%

Asia-focused Standard Chartered bank
Hong Kong - AFP

Asia-focused Standard Chartered bank said Wednesday net profit fell 37 percent in 2014, the second consecutive year of decline, almost a week after announcing two of its top bosses would leave in a reshuffle aimed at transforming its fortunes.
The troubled British lender said net profit came in at $2.51 billion for the year, down from $3.99 billion in 2013 and described the result as "disappointing".
The bank last Thursday said chief executive Peter Sands will step down in June followed by chairman John Peace next year, in a radical management reshuffle to stem a growth slowdown.
In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, Peace said "2014 was a challenging year, and our performance was disappointing" but added that the bank took "decisive action" last year to reposition itself for the future.
Operating income fell two percent year-on-year to $18.23 billion while profit before tax stood at $5.19 billion, down 25 percent from 2013.
"We faced a perfect storm," Sands said in the statement underlining negative sentiment to emerging markets, a sharp drop in commodity prices and a welter of regulatory challenges.
Sands who has worked at the bank for 13 years said the year's earnings was "one of the more challenging" he's had to explain.
"Some of the decisions we took in the past look less good now than they did at the time, such as Korea" he said.
- Shrinking bonuses -
Former JPMorgan investment bank head Bill Winters will replace Sands, which had issued three profit warnings over the past 12 months that had sparked shareholder calls for a boardroom cull.
Analysts say one of Winters' first moves would be raising capital and bolstering the bank's balance sheet, Bloomberg News reported.
Loan impairments for the bank rose 32 percent, mostly from corporate and commercial clients, while its Korean business lost $145 million before tax.
Income for the Northeast Asia region, where Korea represents 95 percent of the income, was down $180 million or 11 percent to $1.46 billion, the bank said in the statement.
The bank saw its income in greater China rise $248 million, or five percent to $5.45 billion.
The bonus pool for the bank's staff fell nine percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, it added in the statement.
Standard Chartered in January said it would close a swathe of its global equities business and axe 2,000 jobs around the world this year as it tries to make savings of $400 million (352 million euros) in a structural overhaul.
It saw its net earnings fall 16 percent in 2013 as it faced increased competition in Asia and troubles turning around its South Korean unit.
It was hit by a $300 million fine by New York state's banking regulator for failing to detect possible money-laundering.
The fine came two years after it paid US regulators $667 million in 2012 to settle charges it violated US sanctions by handling thousands of transactions involving Iran, Myanmar, Libya and Sudan.

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