Is Standard Chartered the new Goldman Sachs?

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Following the warm reception to yesterday's suggestion that HSBC might have Goldmanite qualities due to its ability to turn a global markets profit in a down market, it seems only reasonable to apply the same logic to Standard Chartered.

In common with HSBC, Stan Chart is a British bank which has most of activities overseas. And in common with HSBC its wholesale banking group pulled a profit in 2008.

According to its results published today, operating income at Stan Chart's wholesale banking group actually rose 42% last year to $7.5bn. And financial markets operating income rose 78% to $2.4bn.

Standard Chartered is obviously a flea to Goldman's woolly mammoth - GS made $11bn in operating profits last year. Nor is STAN known for prolific payouts to employees or a wonderful working culture.

However, the report makes some encouraging noises about headcount, which few other banks were in a position to make for 2008. In wholesale banking it trumpets investment in 'skills and expertise' in 'areas such as sales, trading and financial institutions teams.'

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