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Standard Chartered plans job cull on third-quarter loss

Asia and Africa-focused British lender Standard Chartered has announced massive job cuts amid its restructuring drive. The news came as the bank reported a third-quarter loss, which executives called "disappointing."

Standard Chartered said Tuesday it would need to axe 15,000 jobs over the next couple of years to help the bank to return to profitability. The layoffs would account for some 17 percent of the total workforce of 88,500.

The British lender reported an unexpected pre-tax third-quarter loss of $139 million (126 million euros), compared with a $1.53-billon profit in the same period a year earlier.

"The business environment in our markets remains challenging and our recent performance is disappointing," CEO Bill Winters conceded in a statement.

Realignment required

Third-quarter revenue was down by 18.4 percent, while impairment losses almost doubling to $1.23 billion for the quarter.

The bank announced a plan to raise $5.1 billion in fresh capital, adding it was now refocusing on "affluent retail clients" rather than corporate and institutional businesses.

"The plans we have outlines today significantly reallocate resources to change fundamentally the mix of the group towards more profitable and less capital-intensive business," Winters commented.

Standard Chartered had already shed 2,000 jobs in the three months before January, seeing executives give up their bonuses after profits fell by more than a third last year.

hg/ng (dpa, AFP)

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