The board of Standard Chartered last night issued a statement backing its chief executive and chairman ahead of a board meeting in Singapore on Tuesday that comes in the wake of last week’s profits warning and a new investigation by US regulators.
The statement endorsing Peter Sands and Sir John Peace came after another difficult week for the emerging markets focused bank, which has now endured a 30% share in its fall price since the start of the year.
The shares – already at a five-and-a-half year low– fell again on Friday despite rallies by the other banks which were bolstered by a statement from the Bank of England about capital that was less draconian than feared.
The Financial Times quoted a letter from Woodside Holdings Investment Management saying Sands had “failed his shareholders”.
It is the second time the board has issued a statement backing the pair; a similar endorsement was made in July after it was reported that the chairman was beginning plans to find a successor to Sands, one of the few bank bosses to have held on to their job since the crisis.
The board meeting in Singapore had already been scheduled before the news of a latest investigation by US regulators and is taking place ahead of a crucial three-day presentation to be held in Hong Kong in a fortnight’s time. Then Sands will attempt to calm concerns about the bank’s capital position and bad debts and set out how he intends to cut out $400m of costs.
In a statement, the bank said: “The board is united in its support of both Peter Sands and Sir John Peace, and the management team, to deliver the refreshed strategy, restore the bank to profitable growth and deliver returns for our shareholders.
“We are taking action to position ourselves for growth and the enormous opportunities our markets present. We are exiting non-core businesses, reducing costs, actively de-risking certain portfolios and shifting capital and investment spend to the most attractive opportunities. We are confident in our ability to translate all of this into sustained value creation for our shareholders.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010