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Morning Coffee: Private equity jobs now reportedly under threat at Stan Chart


As Standard Chartered continues to reveal its recovery and restructuring plans after reporting a drop in earnings this year and last, the extent of possible job losses in Asia remains unclear. To date we know that the bank is closing businesses and cutting jobs in Korea, China and the Middle East. It’s also shutting down 100 retail branches, mainly in Asia, although Singapore is reportedly unaffected.

Bloomberg now reports, quoting anonymous sources, that about 12% of the firm’s private-equity workforce, junior and senior staff alike, will lose their jobs. But the layoffs, which will mostly affect Asia, should amount to only a handful of people  –  they will reduce headcount in the division to about 100 employees. Three or four of the cuts will be in India, according to Bloomberg.

Corporate finance bankers, meanwhile, may not being getting the axe – but they will be expected to work harder. Stan Chart is demanding an increase in revenues per banker as part of an expected 10% increase in the division’s deal-making. Commodity trade finance jobs at Stan Chart appear to be secure. Chief executive Peter Sands said financing commodity trade would remain an essential part of the bank’s business, despite falling global commodity prices, according to Bloomberg. And as we’ve reported, redundancies are unlikely to affect risk and compliance jobs at the bank.

Stan Chart is still reviewing its businesses for potential savings. “There are pieces of our portfolio, whether very small geographies, or businesses that lack strategic synergies with other parts of the bank, that we are evaluating very carefully,” Sands told analysts in London last week. Stan Chart said last month that it was also reducing costs by taking longer to rehire when employees leave, helping to reduce total headcount to about 87,000 from 89,000 over the past year.


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