StanChart profits fall after ‘challenging’ year

Banking giant Standard Chartered today predicted “modest” growth in the current year after unveiling a 7 per cent fall in profits for 2013.

The Asia-focused lender reported a pre-tax profit of $7 billion (£4.2bn), down from $7.5bn in 2012, after what chairman Sir John Peace described as a “challenging” year for the group.

In January, StanChart unveiled plans to reorganise its operations in a move that will see the departure of two top executives. Consumer banking chief Steve Bertamini is due to leave at the end of this month, while finance director Richard Meddings will depart in June.

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Chief executive Peter Sands said: “2013 was not a great year for Standard Chartered, and 2014 will inevitably have its own challenges, but we are very clear on what we have to do. We are making changes to adapt to the new realities. We have a strong balance sheet, great client relationships and superb capabilities.

“Our outlook for 2014 is one of modest growth. Market and trading conditions are more volatile and difficult than a year ago. While current performance momentum is ahead of the second half of last year, performance in the first half of 2014 will remain challenged both at an income and profit level.”