Standard Chartered, one of the leading lenders for Asian markets, has reported a 16% drop in pre-tax profits following an extensive restructure of its Korean business.
A spike in bad loans also contributed to the disappointing results, while weak trading and economic slowdown in Asia means that full-year profits are unlikely to look any brighter.
In a statement, CEO Peter Sands said: “We are executing our refreshed strategy, including reprioritising investments, exiting non-core businesses, de-risking certain portfolios and reallocating capital.”
He also defended the ongoing “reshaping” activities in South Korea, saying: “Whilst some of these actions will impact near term performance, they are crucial to getting us back to a trajectory of sustainable, profitable growth”.
In London, shares in Standard Chartered have lost 20% of their value this year. In August, the bank was also fined $300m by regulators in the US after falling foul of money laundering laws for the second time in two years.
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