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Standard Chartered posts first loss since 1989 as bad debts soar

The Far East-focused bank had already warned there would be no final dividend when it raised £3.3bn through a rights issue
Standard Chartered posts first loss since 1989 as bad debts soar
Problems in India added to impairments

Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) had its worst year since 1989 as new chief executive Bill Winters took an axe to the loans book.

The Far East-focused bank had already warned there would be no final dividend when it raised £3.3bn through a rights issue in November.

Bad debts soared 87% to US$4bn in 2015 as Winters tightened up on the bank’s lending policies with falling oil and metal prices and problems in India adding to the charges.

Standard saw operating income plummet 15% to US$15.4bn, attributed in equal measure to lower business activity, currency movements, disposals and commodity weakness.

"The weak momentum in the business reflects continued challenging market conditions combined with the immediate impact of the actions it had taken," said Winters.

Losses overall came in at US1.52bn (US$4.2bn profit) while underlying profits fell 84% to US$0.8mln.

The bank aims to shed 15,000 jobs by the end of 2018 as part of a review of the business and shave  US$2.9bn from costs over the same period.

Describing 2015’s performance as “poor”, Winters said actions taken throughout last year and in particular in December had positioned it strongly for the current macro environment.

Shares fell  5% to 413p.

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December 04 2013
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