Standard Chartered is to cut 15,000 jobs and accelerate its retail transformation strategy after reporting an unexpected $139 million loss for the third quarter.
Shares in the bank plunged as management unveiled a restructuring plan intended to save $2.9 billion by 2018 and embarked on a $5.1 billion rights issue to strengthen the balance sheet and fund the turnaround. The bank has already gone through a painful re-adjustment after issuing three profit warnings last year and cutting up to 4000 retail jobs.
The updated strategy will entail an investment of more than $3 billion in strengthening its technology and compliance and risk functions while investing in more profitable and less capital-intensive business opportunities.
The retail component will see the bank exit countries where it has a smaller presence and instead focus on emerging affluent clients in larger cities that deliver above 10% return on investment.
The bank says it will improve retail client systems and digital capability, aiming to reach 30% of sales and 40% of payments online by 2018.