Spotlight MEA
Middle East & Africa Spotlight

Standard Chartered PLC Report 37% Profit Increase Before Tax in June 2021

Standard Chartered PLC (the Group) has released its financial results for the half year ending 30 June 2021. Profit before tax grew 37% year on year, helped by improved loan impairments, strong underlying business momentum and good progress across the Bank’s strategic priorities. The Bank further announced an additional share buy-back programme together with the resumption of the interim dividend payment.

In the Africa and the Middle East region, the bank has recorded its highest half-yearly operating profit over the last five years.

Performance highlights:

  • Income remained flat YoY and 1% higher on a constant currency basis despite being impacted by rate cuts and currency devaluation (drag of approx. 8%). Underlying income was up 8% reflecting growth in Wealth Management Income and healthy pipeline conversions.
  • Healthy Operating Profit of $476 million compared to $91million during the same period last year; driven by significantly reduced credit impairments, wealth growth, productivity actions and a strong pipeline; partly offset by flow-through impact of rate cuts.
  • Significant improvement in the region’s Return on Tangible Equity (ROTE) ratio.
  • A great turnaround story in the UAE; with significantly improved returns.
  • The Bank’s income in Africa grew by 6% on a constant currency basis driven by the digital banking momentum in CPBB and deal pipeline.

Commenting on the results, Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said: “I’m extremely proud of our best ever first half performance in over five years. This is the result of all the hard work the team has put in over the years and the execution of some tough decisions we made to drive efficiencies and reduce risk. This has happened during a period when the backdrop while improving remains uncertain and challenging and is a true testament to the resilience of our underlying business. We have remained focused on clients and people and have made very good progress on our priorities.

“We are excited about the recent expansion of our network into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We will leverage our presence in the Kingdom to promote trade, investment and capital flows in support of the Saudi Vision 2030.

“The digital banking platforms we have launched across nine key African Markets – Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria – have transformed the way we do business and connect with our clients. The pandemic, rather than becoming a stumbling block, has accelerated our growth by increasing our customer base by over half a million, which is 50% higher than our legacy base.

“As we move forward, the region is focused on executing swiftly against the strategy to drive growth and we are determined to support our clients achieve prosperity whilst being the most responsible and sustainable bank.”

Standard Chartered Bank’s Africa, Middle East Region has received the following awards for the year 2021 which further cements the progress and leadership the Bank is establishing in this region.

  • Most Impressive Bank for Middle East and Africa Bonds by Global Capital, voted by our clients and peers.
  • Bonds, Loans and Sukuk Middle East Award for Bond House of the Year.
  • Best International Bank award at the 2021 Asiamoney Middle East’s Best Bank Awards
  • World’s Best Subcustodian Banks 2021, Standard Chartered Middle East, Global Finance Magazine
  • Best Innovation in Trade Finance by MEA Finance Banking Technology Awards 2021
  • Best Islamic Investment Bank by Global Finance Magazine
  • Best Islamic Bank for Digital Customer Experience – Overall by the Digital Banker magazine
  • UAE International Trade Finance Bank of the Year in the ABF Wholesale Banking Awards 2021


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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