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StanChart Singapore names group wealth management head as CEO

STANDARD Chartered Bank Singapore has appointed Judy Hsu as its chief executive officer with effect from Oct 1, 2015.

Ms Hsu will replace Neeraj Swaroop, current chief executive of the Singapore business, who will be leaving the bank to pursue other opportunities, StanChart said on Monday. Mr Swaroop, who has been with the UK-based bank for the last 10 years, was made the Singapore CEO only in April last year.

The appointment of Ms Hsu, who joined StanChart in 2009 and is currently group head, wealth management, is among top-level changes made by group chief executive Bill Winters who himself was installed in the position only in June and is trying to reverse falling profits.

In August, StanChart cut its dividend for the first half of the year to 14.4 cents from 28.8 cents a year ago and said it would rebase the payout to reflect its "current earnings expectation and outlook".

Mr Winters also said he could raise cash in the future as he assesses his business plan.

StanChart's pretax profit in the first six months of the year fell to US$1.82 billion, down 44 per cent from a year ago.

The bank has cut 4,000 staff since the start of the year as part of its plan to streamline operations and cut costs, and warned of further cuts.

Ms Hsu will report to Ajay Kanwal, regional CEO, Asean and South Asia.

In July, Mr Winters announced a new regional structure that will take effect from Oct 1, 2015. One of the four newly created regions, Asean and South Asia, will be led by Mr Kanwal.

Ms Hsu has a career spanning over 25 years in the financial industry, and extensive experience for the last 16 years in wealth management, retail banking and private bank.

In her role as CEO for the Singapore bank, she will be responsible for developing and executing the strategy for the business; building relationships with local clients and businesses; bottom-line profitability and capital; and relationships with local regulators and stakeholders.

StanChart, which was locally incorporated in October 2013, employs around 7,000 people in Singapore and has a network of 18 branches, seven Priority Banking centres and 32 ATMs. The bank's global business is managed from Singapore, as is its global technology & operations function.

The group, which is 18 per cent owned by Temasek Holdings, has more than 86,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world's dynamic markets. It operates across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, which contribute around 90 per cent of its income and profits.