Standard Chartered, one of the first major UK-based banks to report first-quarter earnings, posted one of the worst set of results since the 2008 economic recession.
Bill Winters, chief executive, quickly reassured shareholders in the media call saying:
"Although trading conditions in the first quarter remained challenging, we continue to make good progress on our strategic objectives. The management team is in place, we are taking action to improve recent income trends, managing costs tightly, progressing on key investments, making early progress on the exit of the liquidation portfolio, and maintaining strong levels of capital and liquidity."
Despite the profitability descend, its shares lifted by 10% on Tuesday, as reduced loan losses offered positive signs of a rebound following a not-so-good 2015. Hit by cumbersome restructuring costs and weak commodity prices, 2016 was the first time in 26 years that the bank reported its full-year annual loss.
Loan losses of the London-listed emerging markets-focused bank were $471 million, compared to the forecast of a $805 million loss by analysts, and way below a loss of $4.4 billion the preceding quarter.
Its first quarter income was down 24 percent to $3.3 billion during the first quarter of 2015.
Standard Chartered’s Common Equity Tier 1 ratio has topped 50 bps to 13.1 percent since the year-end, reaping from a reduction in risk-weighted assets (RAW), rising profits, and a gain on foreign currency moves.
Its total operating costs were down 10 percent year-on-year to $2.2 billion, and it remained on a budget despite expensive restructuring going on across Africa, European, and Asian businesses.
Bill Winters has also announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs and recently raised $5.1 billion in capital in November in a move to cut costs and support reserves.
"We remain confident in the estimated total cost of our planned restructuring...of around $3 billion to be incurred before the end of 2016," the bank said in a statement.