Standard Chartered’s (LON:STAN) head of compliance has left the Asia-focused lender following allegations of ‘inappropriate’ behaviour, the Financial Times has reported. The move marks a blow for the group’s chief executive Bill Winters who has been looking to improve the company’s compliance and culture.
Standard Chartered’s share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, having given up 2.10 percent to 728.30p as of 14:58 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.05 percent lower at 7,700.49 points. The group’s shares have given up nearly four percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.4-percent gain in the Footsie.
StanChart’s compliance chief quits
The FT reported today that StanChart’s compliance chief Neil Barry had quit after the bank found his management style, behaviour and language towards colleagues was ‘inappropriate’ and had caused offence, while saying it had not warranted his dismissal. The newspaper quoted the bank as saying that Barry had “expressed his regret if any of his interactions with his colleagues caused upset or offence — that was never his intention,” adding that he had agreed to leave with immediate effect.
His departure followed an investigation by the bank into his behaviour after several of his colleagues blew the whistle on what they perceived as harassment. Tracey McDermott, the former head of the UK’s financial watchdog, has interim charge of the compliance function and will continue in that role as well as head of corporate, public and regulatory affairs and brand and marketing.
Analysts on Asia-focused lender
Citigroup, which sees StanChart as a ‘buy,’ lowered its price target on the shares from 915p to 910p today. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 774.92p.