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Standard Chartered share price: Lender mulls over simpler structure

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Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) is weighing a plan to simplify its structure in an effort to control costs, Bloomberg has revealed. The report comes after last week, the New York Department of Financial Services moved to end  a period of supervision of the group, part of the Asia-focused lender’s wider settlement with the US over its dealings with Iran-related entities.

Standard Chartered’s share price has slipped into the red in London this morning, having given up 0.83 percent to 610.80p as of 10:45 GMT. The shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently trading 0.17 percent in the red at 7,024.23 points. The group’s shares have lost nearly 17 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 4.9 percent fall in the Footsie.

StanChart considers simplifying structure

Sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that StanChart was exploring how to free up liquidity and reduce funding expenses within its different legal entities. The lender, which operates in about 60 markets, further said in a statement to the newswire that it will outline how it plans to “deliver higher returns” when it reports its full-year results in February, without elaborating on the details. 

The news comes with the Asia-focused lender’s chief executive Bill Winters looking to cut costs and improve the group’s profitability.

Cutting numbers of senior posts

The sources further told Bloomberg that as part of the review, StanChart was also considering cutting the number of senior posts. The group had around 86,000 staff at the end of last year, up from about 84,000 in 2015.

The FTSE 100 group is also reportedly reviewing its African businesses and may opt to focus on some core countries.

As of 08:59 GMT, Tuesday, 27 November, Standard Chartered PLC share price is 614.50p.

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