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Morning Coffee: Stan Chart reportedly set to axe scores of MDs

Stan Chart reportedly set to axe scores of Asian MDs

Time for a trim at Stan Chart?

When we spoke to banking analysts back in March about the challenges awaiting new Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters we were told the bank needed to “improve efficiencies” – in other words, cut headcount.

Since then Stan Chart has revealed that it has trimmed 4,000 people so far this year – about 4.5% of its headcount – and now it appears that its expensive senior staff will be disproportionally affected by future cuts. Bloomberg is reporting that Stan Chart plans to make 25% of its MDs redundant – anonymous sources close to the bank say 250 of its approximately 1,000 MDs globally will lose their jobs.

The bank may even start eliminating positions this month, while some MDs will be offered new roles within the firm, according to Bloomberg. About 50 of the redundancies will reportedly be in the Middle East and North Africa.

Bloomberg did not reveal how many of the remaining 200 layoffs will be Asia-based, but with Stan Chart making about 75% of its revenue from the region, the Asian tally is likely to be significant. Many of the firm’s heads of department are based in Singapore and Hong Kong, making those cities particularly vulnerable to the reported MD-level cuts, according to one headhunter we contacted at the weekend, who added that details of any redundancies may be announced over the next few weeks.

This would not be the first time this year that Stan Chart has trimmed high-paid roles in Asia – at least 100 staff in the region lost their jobs in January when the bank closed its equities unit.

Meanwhile:

Temasek says CEO Ho Ching willl return after her sabbatical ends. (Straits Times)

Asian regulators seek fintech balance. (Finance Asia)

Capitalisation gap forming between China’s biggest banks as Basel deadline looms. (South China Morning Post)

UBS diverts Asia deposits to cut Basel III costs. (Business Times)

Fitch highlights mounting pressure on China bank profits. (South China Morning Post)

CIMB seeks bids for Southeast Asia insurance distribution. (Reuters)

Beijing A-Z: an expat couple’s adventures in China. (Wall Street Journal)



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