Standard Chartered CEO says savings needed for ‘expensive talent’

(Bloomberg) – Standard Chartered Plc CEO Bill Winters says the lender is cutting costs so it can fund workers’ rising wage expectations.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television, Winters said the emerging markets-focused bank had to “pay up”, although he hopes the jump in staff attrition over the past few years has leveled off.

“We’ve found ways to save money in other areas so that our expenses are more or less stable,” Winters said. “Hopefully we can continue this trend of finding the savings to pay for increasingly expensive talent.”

The London-based lender will publish its annual results next month. In its third-quarter results, the bank said spending rose 5%, in part due to an increase in performance-related compensation.

Winters said retaining top employees was a challenge. “We know the Great Resignation affects all industries, in all regions of the world,” he said. “We endlessly speculate on what drives this: is it lifestyle changes as a result of the pandemic? Is it the fact that the world is full of cash? »

seventh anniversary

Winters will celebrate his seventh anniversary as CEO of Standard Chartered in June. The bank’s shares are below the level when he joined in 2015, even with Winters leading a sweeping overhaul that involves cutting jobs and reducing risk.

When asked if he was thinking about his future, Winters said there was “more than we can offer.” “The day you call me CEO forever is probably the day I should be walking out the door,” he said.

“We have a job to do, it’s not done, and that’s reflected in our stock price.”

In a separate interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Standard Chartered chairman Jose Vinals said Winters was “absolutely” the right person for the job and had the full confidence of the board.

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