Standard Chartered has reported an underlying pretax profit of $994m for the first half of 2016, following a $990m loss in the second half of 2015.

However, in comparison with first half of last year, the bank’s pretax profit slumped by 46%.  

For the period ending 30 June March 2016, the bank's operating income stood at $6.81bn, a fall of 20% from $8.49bn a year ago. However, operating expenses dropped 10% to $4.53bn from $5.04bn in the first half of 2015.

The common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of financial strength, remained at 13.1%, the same as at the end of the first quarter.

The group identified gross cost efficiencies in excess of the $1bn during the first we committed to for 2016 and the Management Team has begun the process to identify and agree further cost savings in 2017.

Income from retail banking unit was $2.32bn, down 16% year-on-year but was only $49m lower compared to the second half of last year.

Priority Clients now represent 38% of income compared to 35% last year, the bank revealed. Retail products income declined 13% year-on-year and down 2% compared to the previous half.

Commenting on these results, Standard Chartered group chief executive Bill Winters said: “We have made good progress in the year since I joined Standard Chartered. The external environment and outlook is more difficult but we are strengthening our bank, becoming more efficient and investing in our future. By maintaining our financial strength and completing our transformation during this period of heightened uncertainty we will be able to weather near-term volatility, fix our legacy issues, and capture significant underlying opportunities as they arise.”