Standard Chartered’s retail banking segment is set to shift focus from ordinary clients to affluent clients and will request them to bank online.
The move forms part of a broader restructuring led by CEO Peter Sands, a senior bank executive told Reuters.
Last month, the lender had announced 4,000 layoffs in its retail banking units which constitute 5% of its global workforce, and closure of 80-100 branches.
The cost cuts and shift to wealthy clients in Asia, the Middle East and Africa is part of Sands’ strategy to revive the bank’s fortunes.
In an interview to Reuters, StanChart global head of retail clients Karen Fawcett said, "We’re steering away from clients who just want a personal loan to those who’ll buy multiple products."
The retail arm of the bank accounts for 30% of its revenues, with affluent and business customers representing one fifth of its 10.4 million retail clients but contributing to almost half of the unit’s profits.
Fawcett said that revenues from affluent clients have increased by 10% in recent years, versus zero growth for revenue from less wealthy customers.
Fawcett also highlighted intentions of lowering the unit’s cost-income ratio from 67% to 65% by the end of the year, and eventually to 55%.