StanChart regional CEO quits over disclosures on past investments

Mr Kanwal stepped down with immediate effect.
Mr Kanwal stepped down with immediate effect.
Ms Marrs will take over his role, subject to regulatory approval.
Ms Marrs will take over his role, subject to regulatory approval.

The regional chief executive for Standard Chartered has resigned over certain disclosures he made about his past investments, the bank said yesterday.

Mr Ajay Kanwal, who has been with StanChart for 24 years, stepped down with immediate effect.

He said in a statement that he felt some of his disclosures about historical personal investments in businesses outside the bank did not meet StanChart's "very high internal standards on disclosures for all staff".

"Though I do not own these investments anymore, as a senior leader, my actions should be beyond reproach. Hence with regret, I have decided to tender my resignation," he added.

It is understood that this was not a legal or regulatory breach.

Singapore-based Anna Marrs will take over his role, in addition to her position as chief executive of commercial and private banking, subject to regulatory approval.

StanChart chief executive Bill Winters said: "Ajay's historical personal investments in businesses outside the bank had no impact on our clients or the economic interest of the bank. He has elected to put the bank's interests above his own and I respect his decision to step down."

He noted Mr Kanwal's "24-year-long distinguished career with the bank" and that he had done an outstanding job as the regional head. Mr Kanwal previously held roles such as regional head of consumer banking for Singapore and South-east Asia.

He was appointed as regional chief executive on Oct 1 last year, the same day the bank's new management structure started for heads of major business units to report directly to Mr Winters.

This was part of Mr Winters' plans to assume more direct responsibility for the bank's biggest business divisions, as he set out to restore the bank's fortunes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline 'StanChart regional CEO quits over disclosures on past investments'. Print Edition | Subscribe