Standard Chartered has reported an underlying pretax profit of $994m for the first half of 2016, following a $990m loss in the second half of 2015.
However, in comparison with first half of last year, the bank’s pretax profit slumped by 46%.
For the period ending 30 June March 2016, the bank's operating income stood at $6.81bn, a fall of 20% from $8.49bn a year ago. However, operating expenses dropped 10% to $4.53bn from $5.04bn in the first half of 2015.
The common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of financial strength, remained at 13.1%, the same as at the end of the first quarter.
The group identified gross cost efficiencies in excess of the $1bn during the first we committed to for 2016 and the Management Team has begun the process to identify and agree further cost savings in 2017.
The bank’s private banking unit posted an income $261m, down 10% year-on-year but was 7% higher than in the previous half.
Wealth Management product income declined 20% year-on-year and 3% per cent half-on-half reflecting lower demand for wealth products resulting from significant equity and currency market volatility.
Bank said that demand for wealth management products, mainly in Hong Kong and Singapore, remained subdued as investor sentiment was impacted by volatility in particular in the renminbi and in China equity markets.
“We continue to invest in building improved systems and strengthening our relationship manager teams to support our expansion in this segment as the opportunities remain compelling,” the bank noted in its earnings statement.
Commenting on these results, Standard Chartered group chief executive Bill Winters said: “We have made good progress in the year since I joined Standard Chartered. The external environment and outlook is more difficult but we are strengthening our bank, becoming more efficient and investing in our future. By maintaining our financial strength and completing our transformation during this period of heightened uncertainty we will be able to weather near-term volatility, fix our legacy issues, and capture significant underlying opportunities as they arise.”