There is a possibility that Standard Chartered may close all its branches in Pakistan. This UK based bank either intends to completely seize its operation in Dubai or it will shift from strategic banking to online banking to save OPEX. The bank is undergoing cost reduction plans by reducing about 100 branches in Asia, Africa and Middle East which will save it about 400 million dollars in 2015. The bank has reduced its branches in Pakistan from 162 in 42 locations to 116 in 22 locations.
Standard Chartered put two of its subsidiaries, ‘Standard Chartered Modaraba’ and Standard Chartered Services’ on sale which are under the a deal with the Orix Leasing Company. The officials at the bank however stated that Standard Chartered was optimizing its branches network in Pakistan and more attention was being given to the core banking businesses in commercial areas. The bank is carrying out 60% of its transactions online or through advanced means.
Standard Chartered was responding to the changing trends, as the youth are turning towards the internet, they will want to carry out their transactions online. The bank is delivering a consistent financial performance with a profit before tax of Rs 11.4 billion in the first nine months of 2014. International banks are finding it hard to survive in the banking market with the local contenders. Standard Chartered is also cautious about the money laundering issues as it had to face a fine of 300 million dollars by the USA government last year.