Standard Chartered Group today announced full exit of operations from Africa and Middle East (AME) region including Five African countries; Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Seirra Leone and Zimbabwe.
According to a statement issued today, Standard Chartered Group will also scale down operations in two other markets in Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire in a set of actions “to redirect the group’s resourses within it’s Africa and Middle East region and in other two markets, to those areas where it can have the greatest scale and growth potential in order to better support its clients.”
Bill Winters, Standard Chartered Group CEO said “as we set out earlier this year, we are sharpening our focus on the most significant opportunities for growth while also symplifying our business…” He said the Group is acceletating its strategy to deliver effeciencies, reduce complexity and drive scale.
The Group has invested heavily in recent years in the AME region including fundamentally transforming it’s digital capabilities in it’s African markets. It has also been expanding its footprint to cover some of the largest and the fastest growing economies, having recently opened it’s first branch in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and obtained preliminary approval for a banking license in the Arab republic of Egypt.
Standard Chartered Group is currently present in 59 markets and serves clients in further 83. The markets that will be exited generated about one percent of the total Group 2021 income and a similar proportion of profit before tax.
“We remain excited by a number of opportunities we see in the AME region as illustrated by our new markets, but remain disciplined in our assessment of where we can deliver significantly improved shareholder returns.” Winters said.
“..We are grateful to our colleagues and partners in each of these impacted markets for their hardwork and dedication and are committed to supporting them during this transition” he said.