Standard Chartered reports 30% drop in profits

<p>Standard Chartered has seen a significant fall in full-year profits.</p>

The woes for UK bank Standard Chartered continue as its reports a significant drop in profits.

In its latest trading update, the bank said that pre-tax profit, including exceptional items, stood at $4.24 billion (£2.76 billion), a fall of 30 per cent from 2013. It confirmed that losses from bad loans grew to $2.14 billion, up from $1.62 billion in the previous. Operating income was also down two per cent to $18.23 billion.

Peter Sand, Standard Chartered's chief executive, conceded that the past 12 months had been a "tough year" for the bank. He highlighted recent troubles it had undergone, including a slumping share price and the closure of over 100 branches in November.

Commenting on the recent poor performance, Mr Sand said: "[Our] 2014 performance was disappointing, impacted by a challenging market environment and by the significant programme of restructuring and repositioning actions taken during the year.

"We faced a perfect storm: negative sentiment towards emerging markets, a sharp drop in commodity prices, persistent low interest rates and surplus liquidity, low volatility, and a welter of regulatory challenges."

Despite the fall in pre-tax profits, Standard Chartered's share price rallied up 3.83 per cent as of 11:52 GMT on Wednesday (March 4th).

Year to forget

Standard Chartered has endured a somewhat traumatic 2014, which ended with the company announcing the closure of 100 branches across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, along with a raft of job losses – in January 2015, the bank announced that it was planning to cut around 2,000 jobs in its retail banking division.

It was on top of the 2,000 that had already been announced by the bank in 2014. It was also compounded by the issuing of three profit warnings in the past year.

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