Standard Chartered

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As of 08:06 20 Jul 2019
Market cap. Pound sterling
23,086.97 million
As of 08:06 20 Jul 2019

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'Tin eared' bank boss

Bill Winters

The Financial Times ran a piece on Tuesday in which Bill Winters, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, criticised shareholders after almost 40% of them voted against the bank's pay policy at its annual meeting in May.

The concern is about the pension contributions to Mr Winters.

“Picking on individual pension arrangements . . . and suggesting that there is some big issue there is immature and unhelpful,” Mr Winters told the Financial Times.

Now the FT is quoting shareholders hitting back.

Five top-20 shareholders in the bank told the Financial Times that they were unimpressed by Mr Winters’ decision to attack shareholders. One big asset manager described the chief executive as “tin eared”.

Another large shareholder said: “As an immature investor, I’m going to not make any rash comments, but look forward to the fallout coming.”

Facebook 'hires bank lobbist'

image of mark zukerberg

The Financial Times is reporting that Facebook has hired a senior British bank lobbyist as it braces for greater political and regulatory scrutiny in Europe over its plans to launch its own digital currency and other financial services.

It says that Ed Bowles, Standard Chartered’s European head of corporate and public affairs, will join Facebook in September as its London-based director of public policy.

Standard Chartered, Facebook and Mr Bowles declined to comment.

Last month the BBC reported plans by Facebook to launch its own crypto-currency.

"Safety of our staff is always our top priority": Standard Chartered

A Standard Chartered Plc logo is displayed atop at the Standard Chartered Bank Building on July 16, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Getty Images

Standard Chartered has confirmed it has temporarily suspended branch operations in the Admiralty area in Hong Kong until further notice.

"To ensure safety of staff and customers, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited announced that it has suspended the operations of the two branches in Admiralty due to severe traffic disruption in the area," the bank said in a statement.

"Banking services in Admiralty district, including branch services, cheque deposit service, ATMs and cash and deposit machines, are temporarily suspended until further notice."

The branches affected include Admiralty Branch and Admiralty Priority Banking Centre, it said.

A bank spokesperson added: Safety of our staff is always our top priority. We have reminded our staff members to stay vigilant and flexible in work arrangement to ensure their safety.”

Hong Kong business disrupted

The local HSBC bank headquarters (background centre R) is seen beside the Standard Chartered bank building (background C) amongst other residential and commercial buildings in Hong Kong on September 27, 2018.
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Standard Chartered Bank has said it will temporarily suspend operations at its branches in the Admiralty area amid disruptions associated with the protests in Hong Kong, according to media reports.

China Citic Bank will also temporarily suspend operations in the area, South China Morning Post reported.

Bank of East Asia said two branches near the Hong Kong protests will be closed until further notice, according to Reuters.

Standard Chartered leads winners on FTSE

Standard Chartered
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Trading has just got under way on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 100 index has made a quiet start to the day, up just 0.3% to 7,442.62.

Whitbread is down 2.33%, after posting an almost 40% drop in pre-tax profits, following its sale of Costa Coffee.

Shares in Standard Chartered are up sharply, rising by almost 4.5%, after it announced a share buyback.

The FTSE 250 index has dropped marginally, by 0.14% to 19,882.90.

Standard Chartered plans $1bn share buyback

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered has reported a 10% rise in first quarter profit and unveiled plans for a share buyback of up to $1bn (£773m).

The bank, which focuses on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, said profits rose to $1.38bn in the quarter, up from $1.26bn a year earlier.

"We will maintain our strategic investment programme and start to buy back $1 billion of our shares, reflecting our confidence in our ability to execute the strategy and create long-term shareholder value," said chief executive Bill Winters.

Earlier this month, Standard Chartered paid $1.1bn (£843m) as a penalty for violating US sanctions against Iran and over inadequate financial crime controls.

Another bank facing pension row?

Standard Chartered logo
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Pensions for boardroom executives have been in focus of late at banking groups HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group.

As we mentioned earlier, the Times is reporting that Standard Chartered is also facing concerns from investors about the pension arrangements for its chief executive Bill Winters.

Mirza Berg, global head of governance at Aviva Investors, says pension will be a "hot button topic topic" at this year's annual general meeting season.

Standard Chartered is quoted as saying that the pensions policy had been drawn up in consultation with shareholders.

Standard Chartered profits surge

Standard Chartered
Getty Images

Standard Chartered's pre-tax profit surged to $3.9bn (£3bn) in 2018, the bank said in a Tuesday filing in Hong Kong, up 27% on the previous year's result.

Last week the bank said it had put aside $900m to deal with regulatory probes in the UK and US. It was the first time it had put a figure on the penalties and an attempt to draw a line under the issue.

It means its latest profit figure drops to $2.5bn "after provision for regulatory matters and restructuring and other items" are taken out, a rise of 5.5% on 2017's results.