UK-based bank Standard Chartered announced a 22% drop in Group operating profit for the first quarter of 2015, at US$ 1.47 billion (€1.35 billion) compared with US$ 1.87 billion (€1.7 billion) for the same period in 2014.
The bank’s Interim Management Statement listed first quarter income down by 1% on a constant currency basis. Headline income of US$ 4.4 billion (€4 billion) was down 4%, 1% of which was the result of business exits.
Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, commented: “We are on schedule to deliver a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of between 11% and 12% and sustainable cost saves in excess of US$ 400 million (€365 million) in 2015. Trading conditions remain challenging and the actions we are taking to de-risk, cut costs and build capital are having an impact on near term performance. However, underlying business volumes generally remain strong. We remain confident in the strength of our franchise, the opportunities in our markets and in our ability to build returns to an attractive level in the medium term.”
Earlier this year, Standard Chartered announced the closure of its institutional cash equities, equity research and equity capital markets (ECM) activities, leading to 200 job losses. The decision to close its equities business formed part of its austerity measures announced in November 2014 with the aim of saving $400 million (€365 million) in 2015.
Overall, the Group remains highly liquid and well capitalised, with ratios well above current regulatory requirements. Group Risk Weighted Assets were slightly up on the year end and the bank stated it is well advanced on its plan to take out US$ 25-30 billion (€23-27 billion) in the next two years.