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StanChart to cut up to 25% senior staff jobs

S'pore operations may also be affected as CEO announces in memo to staff that 1,000 top jobs will go

MR WINTERS: He plans to reduce staff who are graded in bands 1-4, according to an internal memo. Those bands cover bankers at director level and higher, and include about 4,000 people.


STANDARD Chartered Bank will cut up to 25 per cent of its senior staff as the group sets about simplifying its organisational structure in a bid to cut costs.

Singapore, where StanChart has a staff of some 7,000 and which is also a hub from where many of its global businesses are managed, won't be excluded from the plan to reduce senior staff by up to 1,000 globally.

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On Friday, Reuters had reported that group chief executive Bill Winters had sent a memo to staff on staff reduction at the most senior level and which is likely to see about 1,000 top jobs go.

Mr Winters said he planned to reduce staff who are graded in bands 1-4 by a quarter, according to the internal memo seen by Reuters. Those bands cover bankers at director level and higher, and include about 4,000 people.

A spokeswoman in Singapore, when asked about the impact on senior managers here, e-mailed a bank statement that said: "Bill's note to staff is an update on what we said we were going to do. In it, he has made it clear that kick-starting performance is a priority, and we are not standing still."

"On headcount, we said previously (when we announced the management team and organisational changes in July) that there would be further personnel changes to come, as we simplify our organisational structure."

Mr Winters became group CEO in June this year.

"We have already acted to reduce management layers, and a result will have up to 25 per cent fewer senior staff," said the statement.

In August, StanChart slashed 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 pre-tax profit for the first six months of the year fell to US$1.82 billion, down 44 per cent from a year ago.

In August, the bank revealed that it 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.

Since Oct 1, as part of Mr Winters' top level changes, StanChart Singapore has a new chief executive, Judy Hsu, whose appointment was announced last month.

StanChart Singapore, which was locally incorporated in October 2013, has a network of 18 branches, seven Priority Banking centres and 32 ATMs.

Ms Hsu reports 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.

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.