StanChart boss to shift power to regional hubs

STANDARD Chartered's new chief executive is planning a structural overhaul of the bank to shift capital and power to new regional hubs as he tries to turn its performance around and meet new regulatory demands.

Mr Bill Winters said the emerging markets bank is ripe for simplification and streamlining, the Financial Times (FT) reported, quoting

people familiar with the situation.

The former JPMorgan investment banker is said to have explained his views during a whirlwind tour to meet shareholders, regulators and staff, the FT report said.

The London-listed bank, which focuses on Asia, the Middle East and Africa, emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis, but its share price was dented

two years ago, after a long period of growth, by a

series of profit warnings and scrapes with regulators.

In addition, investors are concerned that the slowing economies of big emerging markets, particularly China, could face further disruption as the United States Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates.

Mr Winters is expected to hand more power to regional subsidiaries in key markets, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Africa.

Removing overlapping layers of management could save the bank billions.

However, Mr Winters has warned investors that they should not expect a quick fix to the problems that have afflicted the bank over the past couple of years.

He has promised a thorough assessment of the bank's capital needs and potential cost savings.

Investors are upbeat about what they have seen so far of Mr Winters, who plans to update, centralise and harmonise the bank's technology and compliance functions, the FT report said.

Mr Winters aims to announce his strategic plan for StanChart around the end of the year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'StanChart boss to shift power to regional hubs'. Print Edition | Subscribe