StanChart expected to cut up to 250 jobs

StanChart said in January that it would close its global equities business and axe 4,000 jobs in retail banking.
StanChart said in January that it would close its global equities business and axe 4,000 jobs in retail banking.PHOTO: REUTERS

Reports say front-office and operations managing directors most likely to be affected

Headhunters say Standard Chartered Bank executives in Singapore and Hong Kong are bracing themselves for job cuts.

Reports last week said the British lender has plans to cut up to 250 of about 1,000 managing director positions, mostly from Asia.

Bloomberg said about 50 of those jobs are set to be in the Middle East and North Africa operations.

Career portal eFinancialCareers noted earlier this week: "Managing directors at Standard Chartered in Hong Kong and Singapore face a nervous few weeks as the bank finalises plans to potentially cut hundreds of senior staff."

Headhunters say the jobs of managing directors in operations or some front-office functions are likely to be on the line as those roles do not directly generate revenue.

OPTIMAL UTILISATION

We have since moved more than 1,000 non-frontline staff to the new building as part of our efforts to ensure our office space is utilised optimally.

STANDARD CHARTERED

There is also a lot of movement in the bank as people are expecting the announcement of job cuts and are generally looking to move.

StanChart in July announced a major shake-up, including phasing in a new management structure.

The new structure, from Oct 1, will have heads of major business units reporting directly to StanChart chief executive Bill Winters.

He took over in June, with plans to assume more direct responsibility for the bank's biggest business divisions and is working to restore the bank's fortunes.

Earlier this week, StanChart said Ms Judy Hsu - group head of wealth management - will be the new Singapore chief executive on Oct 1.

The Singapore permanent resident, who has been living and working here for the past 25 years, joined the bank in 2009.

Before the senior management shake-ups, StanChart was already working on cost-cutting measures. In January, it said it would close its global equities business and axe 4,000 jobs in retail banking.

The Straits Times said in July that StanChart had surrendered four of its 24 levels at Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1.

It is understood that the lease was not renewed because the bank had added a 154,000 sq ft extension to its Changi Business Park building, and not because it was downsizing, as earlier thought.

The bank said "we have since moved more than 1,000 non-frontline staff to the new building as part of our efforts to ensure our office space is utilised optimally".

The new six-storey facility in Changi is expected to house up to 1,800 staff at full capacity.

Mr Nick Hughes, head of corporate real estate services for Singapore and Asean, told Bloomberg in July that the move "sought to bring together workers from eight locations to two main offices at Marina Bay and Changi Business Park".

StanChart said it has since consolidated its property portfolio to provide a long-term occupancy solution for its operations in Singapore. It said: "Our objective is to ultimately house our staff at two main office locations - MBFC and Changi Business Park."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2015, with the headline 'StanChart expected to cut up to 250 jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe