Standard Chartered to scrap cash equities business

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The latest step in Standard Chartered’s plans to save $400m this year will see it cut its cash equities business and cut a further 2000 retail jobs.

In the past three months, the lender had already cut 2000 jobs in its retail arm, closing 22 branches in the process. In total, it intends to close 100 branches across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The bank claims that the cash equities closure will create a further $100m in savings.

Following the announcement, Standard Chartered shares were up 2% on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Last year, an increase in bad loans and restructuring of the bank’s South Korea business saw Standard Chartered issue three profit warnings and lose 16% of its operating profit.

Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, said in a statement: “We are demonstrating action and progress as the management team focuses on delivering returns for shareholders. We are continuing to take significant action on costs by exiting or reconfiguring non-core and underperforming businesses, and by increasing the efficiency of our core businesses.”

While this has sadly resulted in a number of colleagues leaving the Bank, a transition team will remain to manage the interim period and support our clients,” added Mike Rees, Deputy Group Chief Executive.