African markets

Standard Chartered leaves several African markets

Standard charter leaves six African countries and closes its consumer banking operations in two others to focus on more profitable markets.

The bank announced that it would close its operations in Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe as well as in Lebanon. It will also cease offering retail and corporate banking services in Tanzania and Ivory Coast to focus on business and corporate banking services.

The FTSE 100 bank said it would continue to serve corporate clients in all these markets from its international network. Dropped markets generate about 1% of annual revenue and profit.

Standard Chartered said it has invested heavily in Africa and the Middle East (AME), including improving digital capabilities in African markets. He said the closures were part of a plan to redirect resources to high-growth markets. The emerging markets lender opened a branch in Saudi Arabia and won approval for a banking license in Egypt to focus on large, fast-growing economies.

Bill Winters, the bank’s chief executive, said, “We are focusing more on the most important growth opportunities while simplifying our business. We remain excited about 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.

“We are grateful to our colleagues and partners in each of these impacted markets for their hard work and dedication and are committed to supporting them through this transition.”

Standard Chartered shares rose 0.7% to 506p at 10.30am BST.