Standard Chartered has hailed
another ‘record performance’, reporting revenue up 14 percent for
the first half of 2009 to $7.96 billion and operating profit before
tax of 10 percent to $2.84 billion. The performance was driven by
strong momentum in its wholesale banking unit, which posted income
rising 37 percent.

In contrast, compared to the first half of
2008, Standard Chartered’s consumer banking division saw income
decline 15 percent to $2.69 billion while operating profit fell 57
percent to $348 million. On a positive note, consumer banking was
more profitable compared to the second half of last year as it
benefitted from a series of cost-saving and efficiency

The bank said that its consumer banking arm
had “successfully attracted deposits”, with total balances growing
12 percent creating some $40 billion of surplus liquidity for the
group. In the bank’s three core markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and
South Korea, deposits grew by 31 percent, 34 percent and 33
percent, respectively.

Faced with a slowdown and deteriorating credit
environment, the bank is re-shaping its consumer banking business
and de-risking the lending book, said Peter Sands, group chief

“Central to this transformation is the shift
away from product sales towards greater focus on deep,
multi-product customer relationships. When investor confidence
returns, and interest rates begin to rise, income will surge. This
will have a powerful effect on the bottom line of consumer