By Babajide Komolafe
Standard Char-teredÂ Bank PLC has recorded 13 per cent increase in profitability which rose to $5.15bn for the operating year ended December 31st 2009.
Commenting on the results, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, Mr. Peter Sands, said â€œ2009 was the 7th consecutive year when we produced record income and profits. The bank has used its strong capital and liquidity position and its increasingly powerful brand to capture market share from competitors and to deepen relationships with customers and clients. We enter 2010 with real resilience and momentum.â€
A statement issued by the bank in London yesterday said â€œStandard Chartered PLC today announced a 7th successive year of record income of $15.18bn and operating profit before tax of $5.15bnÂ during 2009, demonstrating the underlying strength and momentum across our markets and businesses, despite the ongoing adverse global economic conditions.
Our strong liquidity and capital position enabled us to continue building out market share across our footprint, generating positive business momentum as we enter 2010.
â€œ2009 delivered strong and diversified profit and income growth across our markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Five markets delivered income of over $1bn, with India and Hong Kong also delivering over $1bn in operating profit before tax (OPBT).
â€œWholesale Banking continued to demonstrate strong business momentum with significant increases in both client and own account income growth, while Consumer Banking saw a strong upturn in performance during the second half of the year.
â€œThroughout the tough environment, Standard Chartered has continued to provide support for its customers and corporate clients, significantly increasing lending and other forms of support across our markets. 2009 total lending climbed 13% per cent ($28bn) to $250bn. We helped many more of our customers buy their own homes, increasing our mortgage lending by nearly 21 per cent to $58bn. We helped small and medium enterprises start up and grow with an extra 14 per cent increase in lending to more than $13bn.
â€œThe Group continued to focus on the basics of good banking, keeping a tight grip on costs and risk control and maintaining a liquid and conservative balance sheet. Normalised cost/income ratio fell to 51.3 per cent from 56.1 per cent in 2008, although expenses rose slightly by 4 per cent in 2008. Strong organic equity growth of over $3bn supplemented by a successful capital raising saw core tier 1 capital rise to 8.9 per cent, with total capital at 16.5 per cent. The advances to deposits ratio remains strong at 78.6 per cent, while continued action to de-risk the asset book positions us well to deal with any future economic uncertainty.
A clear strategic focus saw Wholesale Banking deliver another year of strong performance, with income up 24 per cent to $9.29bn and OPBT rising 36 per cent to $4.08bn. An â€˜open for businessâ€™ approach to our client base throughout the financial crisis resulted in client income growing 22 per cent to $6.88bn, accounting for 74 per cent of all Wholesale Banking revenue. Client income growth was driven by the lending, corporate finance and financial markets businesses, coupled with an expansion in product capability and increased cross-selling opportunities. Own account income climbed 30 per cent, on the back of ALM and leveraging client flows, particularly on the back of intra-day credit and commodity trading.
â€œConsumer Banking continued its repositioning strategy to build longstanding and multi-product relationships with customers. Further investment in the branch network, marketing and relationship management capability helped build a strong foundation for growth.
â€œWhile full year income and OPBT fell due to margin compression, business performance showed positive momentum through the year, delivering progressively stronger performance with income climbing every quarter.
â€œDeposits grew 11 per cent, while customer lending climbed 17 per cent as we took market share from competitors. Mortgage lending also rose by 21 per cent, whilst retaining a low average loan-to-value of around 50 per cent.
Income and profit climbed strongly during the second half – income rose 10 per cent H209 vs H109, whilst OPBT climbed 49 per cent in the same period. Wealth Management products also delivered strong fee income, climbing 35 per cent from the first quarter of 2009 to the last.
â€œLoan impairments for both Consumer and Wholesale banking showed a significant reduction during second half of the year.Â Consumer Banking loan impairments fell 13 per cent H2 vs H109, whilst Wholesale Banking loan impairments declined 19 per cent in the same period.
â€œMarkets showed strong performance in 2009, reinforcing the underlying strength of our business footprint. Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, India and the UAE individually delivered income of over $1bn. India produced profits in excess of $1bn for the first time, supporting our intention to list IDRs during 2010 in this critical market.
â€œOn the back of increasing Asian inward investment the Africa region produced very strong growth, with income climbing 20 per cent to over $1bn, and profits climbing 54 per cent.
Africa also recorded an excellent set of numbers in 2009: income growth increased by 20% to $1.09bn and operating profits increased by 54% to $482m. Both our Consumer and Wholesale Banking businesses showed very good momentum, recording double digit, broad based income growth.
â€œWholesale Banking delivered an exceptional performance, growing income by 30 per cent and deepening client relationships across the region. Consumer Banking growth was driven by SME and Wealth Management, whilst liability products have benefitted from the flight to quality in the wake of the financial crisis.â€
Commenting on the Africa results, Mike Hart, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Africa, said â€œAfrica recorded extremely strong income and profit growth in 2009, driven by an exceptional performance in our Wholesale Banking business.
â€œAcross Africa, we remain in a position of strength- our balance sheet remains in very good shape with liquidity closely managed, whilst the investments we have made in our distribution channels, products, services, people and systems are realising immediate value. We continue to differentiate our brand and have confidence in our strategy for long-term, sustainable growth.â€