Standard Chartered job cuts: Singapore affected

No information has come yet from the bank on whether Singapore will be affected by the retail banking job cuts. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
No information has come yet from the bank on whether Singapore will be affected by the retail banking job cuts. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - Singapore is affected by the latest round of job cuts from Standard Chartered, a bank spokesman told The Straits Times on Thursday, declining to say how many staff have been axed.

Media reports on Thursday said the London-based bank is closing its global equities business, resulting in the loss of over 200 jobs in Asia. Then came a Reuters report, quoting an internal bank memo, that said Standard Chartered will also axe around 4,000 retail banking jobs worldwide, 2,000 of which have already been announced.

Reuters later reported that some Standard Chartered staff in Singapore its equity business were escorted from their workplaces when they arrived there this morning, while some in Hong Kong arrived on Thursday to find they were locked out of the office.

"We came in this morning and were told the equity business was being shut down," a woman who identified herself as an ex-employee at the bank's offices in Singapore's business district told Reuters. She said she had worked in research and had been with the bank for three years.

The cost cuts in the retail banking segment will deliver cost savings of around US$200 million (S$268 million) in 2015, half of the total savings identified by chief executive Peter Sands as essential to turn the bank around, Reuters reported.

The exit from the equities business will generate US$100 million of savings next year, the memo also said.

On this move, the Standard Chartered spokesman told the Straits Times: "The decision has been taken to exit globally the institutional cash equities, equity research and equities capital market (ECM) business with immediate effect."

Standard Chartered has all these three businesses in Singapore.

The bank did not disclose the number of jobs cut in Singapore, saying: "We won't be giving a breakdown. This will impact around 200 jobs mainly in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, India and Singapore. There is a minimal presence in the Britain and United States."

On whether Singapore will be affected by the retail banking job cuts, no information has come yet from the bank.

On the closure of its global equities business, the spokesman said the decision does not impact its core strategic aim of supporting the international trade, wealth and fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) needs of its corporate and affluent retail client base.

 "We will retain and continue to develop our equity derivatives and convertible bond businesses and continue to build our macro and FICC research capabilities. We will continue to provide strategic advice to its clients in respect of equity financing," the spokesman said.