Standard Chartered's Singapore bankers seem in a good spot
Standard Chartered is under the spotlight of potential takeover speculation following interest from First Abu Dhabi Bank, but CEO Bill Winters delivered an upbeat message and seems determined that the bank’s turnaround will be a success.
Staff in the bank’s Singapore operations, the headquarters of its wholesale bank, seem particularly well-placed. According to its full year results presentation, profits in Singapore grew by 21% compared with 2021, making it the best-performing of the all of the bank’s regional businesses. By contrast, profits in India grew by 5% and in Hong Kong by 9%.
Singapore also continued to grow strongly as an offshore hub, with cross-border income into Singapore up 44% in 2022 to $600m. The return on tangible equity in the Singaporean business was the healthiest of all main markets, at nearly 20%.
Singaporean bankers and traders seem particularly well placed as Standard Chartered is planning to expand its corporate, commercial and institutional banking (CCIB) activities after overall income jumped 24% to $10bn.
The bank said it itends to spend more on strategic business initiatives within the CCIB, as well as boosting its business in capital-lite areas such as corporate finance and financial markets. The bank wants to boost income from higher returning segments such as financial institutions which accounted for 45% of CCIB income in 2022, up from 41% a year previously. The plan is for financial institutions revenues to account for half of CCIB revenues by 2024.
Away from Singapore, the bank also pledged to double its China onshore and offshore profit before tax and invest $300m in growth opportunities and strategic priorities.
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