Standard Chartered Plcs CEO Peter Sands announced $400 million in cost cuts during 2015 as the company reported a decrease in Q3 profit, extending bad performance through the year.
Mr. Sands, who has been under heavy fire from investors over the companys poor results, said measures were being taken to get the bank “back to a trajectory of sustainable, profitable growth”, but warned that these actions will “impact near term performance.”
Standard Chartered, which earns three-quarters of its profits in Asia, reported a pre-tax profit of $1.53 billion in the period ended September 30, a 16% decrease compared to last year, while operating expenses edged up 4%.
“China is going through some pretty radical changes and we have to be very watchful in the way we manage our business and exposure, simply because theres just so much going on in the Chinese economy,” Mr. Sands said.
Standard Chartered lowered its expectation for the second half of the year and now expect profits to be lower than the same period last year. The company explained that “loan impairment” and “bank levy, regulatory and restructuring costs” were a key factor in making the decision. Losses from bad loans almost doubled in the third quarter.
Standard Chartered will pay about $375 million under a UK bank tax, an increase of slightly more than $100 million compared to last year. The expense will be taken in the fourth quarter.
“To create more capacity for investment in the many opportunities in our markets, we are taking further action on costs, targeting more than $400m in productivity improvements for 2015,” Mr Sands said.
The bank reported increases in profit in its corporate and institutional, retail and private banking segments, but they were insignificant compared to the 20% drop in commercial banking.
“Sands is not doing a particularly poor job compared to some of his compatriots,” said Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer at Rathbone Brothers. “This is a tough environment and it’s more about the overall outlook for Asian economies. This shouldn’t really have surprised the market, but it’s taken a bit of fright this morning.”
Recently the bank agreed on a $300 million settlement with New York’s Department of Financial Services, as the company failed to improve procedures for identifying suspicious activity.
Standard Chartered Plc. fell 1.79% on Monday and closed at GBX 1 095 in London. On Monday the stock dropped as much as 10.21% reaching the lowest price since April 2009. At 13:10 GMT shares were down 9% and traded at GBX 996.50, marking a one-year decrease of 34.98%. The company is valued at GBP 27.02 billion.