StanChart's massive layoffs mostly complete: CEO

StanChart's massive layoffs mostly complete: CEO

The massive job cuts announced by Standard Chartered Bank's headquarters last year have mostly been made and any further cuts to headcount here will be normal attrition.

Stanchart Singapore chief executive Judy Hsu told reporters yesterday: "There's natural attrition and as we automate more of our processes, we see less of the low value-added manual work, and we will not be replacing that headcount."

Last November, the emerging-markets focused bank said it would slash 15,000 jobs from its 86,000-strong global workforce by 2018 and exit its less-competitive businesses to revive growth after its share price was hammered by a commodities slump and slowdown in Asia.

The bank does not disclose layoffs by country, but the axe seems to have fallen heavier elsewhere. For example, StanChart sold its Philippines retail business earlier this month, noted Ms Hsu, who was speaking on the sidelines of the official opening of the bank's second building in Changi Business Park.

StanChart employs more than 7,000 workers here and plans to hire over a hundred more to grow its 1,700-strong information technology and operations team housed in Changi Business Park, she added.

The group has a US$3 billion (S$4.12 billion) technology budget to spend over three years, and the bulk of those projects are being developed by the Singapore team.

"We don't do the coding and software development here, but this is where we have the project teams that develop the right platforms to support the business," Ms Hsu noted.

"We're actually expanding here to hire project mangers, analysts to support our large investment in digital banking, compliance technology, as well as investments in the whole wealth management space."

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who attended the opening ceremony, praised StanChart for its "strong Singaporean core".

He noted that the bank's local arm employs a total of 1,400 PMETs (professional, managerial, executive and technical) workers, of which more than 90 per cent are locals.

"It is also worth noting that the regional and international arm actually employs more local PMETs than the local arm - over 3,500 local PMETs in the international arm versus over 1,000 local PMETs in the local arm."

Mr Lim added: "Together, we can nurture more of our local talents to play bigger and better roles in (StanChart's) future growth."

StanChart owns its two buildings at Changi Business Park, which have a total floor space of 434,890 sq ft. The bank is also an anchor tenant at Marina Bay Financial Centre, where it occupies 414,000 sq ft, down from 512,000 sq ft in 2011 when it first moved in.

Expanding in Changi, away from the central business district, will support its plan to consolidate its property portfolio into "more efficient premises", the bank said.

This article was first published on May 28, 2016.
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