Standard Chartered on Clousure Drive of Branches in Pakistan

Standard Chartered Bank, a UK based bank head-quartered in London, is on a rapid closure drive of conventional branches in Pakistan.

Development may result into a possible winding up of Standard Chartered’s operations in the country or it may also mean a strategic shift from traditional banking to online banking to save OPEX.

The UK-based bank is likely to further shut-down its branches in various Pakistani cities in line with its cost-cutting plan through reduction of up to 100 branches in Asia, Africa and Middle East which will save the bank its $400 million in 2015.

Standard Chartered Bank has closed 46 branches in Pakistan in past five years while it currently operates with 116 branches in merely 22 cities.

Previously, the bank was operating with 162 branches at 42 locations.

Despite consistent profits, Standard Chartered Bank closed 46 branches in Pakistan in past five years

In September 2014, the Standard Chartered put on sale its two subsidiaries namely “Standard Chartered Services” and “Standard Chartered Modaraba”, which are under due diligence process by Orix Leasing Limited, a potential buyer of the firms.

Orix is likely to conclude its exercise on a constructive deal.

Resultantly, Orix Leasing Limited, that has signed an MoU with Standard Chartered Bank, will acquire 100 percent stakes in Standard Chartered Services and 20 percent stakes Standard Chartered Modaraba.

When asked about Standard Chartered’s operations in Pakistan, officials opted to talk about a cautious approach toward prevailing operational strategy and said that Standard Chartered Bank is working to optimize its branches’ network in Pakistan with more focus on its core banking business in lucrative commercial areas.

The bank is mulling opening its digital branches, which means advanced technology will be utilized to deliver customized services to the customers.

The bank is witnessing more than 60 percent of its transactions being done through online or advanced means, showing that a large number of customers are transitioning from traditional banking process to online banking.

The bank’s intelligence suggested that 60 percent of the population in Pakistan is youth and they fall with-in 18 to 30 years of age bracket, and majority of them are internet users, hence the bank is working on the dynamics of demands exploiting online presence of customers, Standard Chartered officials said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the bank continues to deliver consistent financial performance with a profit before tax of Rs 11.4 billion in first nine months of 2014, slightly up from Rs. 11.4 billion it made during previous year.

Banking environment in Pakistan for foreign banks is fast becoming very challenging due to increasing competition within the industry players and limited scope of business in the largely unbanked market of Pakistan.

Furthermore, Standard Chartered is also very cautious about money laundering issues in Pakistan, especially after it was slapped with a fine of $300 million by USA government last year.

Previously, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC have wrapped up their overall business in the country. Citibank sold out its consumer portfolio to Habib Bank Limited and Barclays Pakistan is negotiating with different banks to sell off its overall local operations.

  • hmm…. sounds interesting as i mostly use i-banking. But what about pay orders and check books and all other services which require physical presence?

    • it says it is on closure drive. Meaning Standard Chartered is ending its operations from Pakistan

  • tThis is not good news. Lot of people rely on standard chartered Credit Cards for hassle-free purchases online. We don’t have to call ahead to “activate” the card or anything like that. Very necessary for subscription type of payments (like monthly website hosting.

    • Youngsters are intenet users but businessmen are not as advanced to be wholly dependant over internet. They still rely on conventional banking procedure for routine more reason for this is evolution of branchless banking for small consumers..

  • lakin mane suna tha meezan bank standard charter ko khareed rha hai… whatever we are gonna miss standard charter credit card.

    • Shaykhul Islam sb, har koi mazhab ka beyopaar ker raha hai.. mazhab is the biggest commodity in this country… aap ne bhi tau mazhab ka chooran baich baich ker itna maqaam banaya hai is muaashray mein. Meezan bank ki (ghair-) Islami banking ka bhi yehi raaz hai. Meezan bank opened a new Islamic banking branch every 11th day (this was their ad a few weeks ago in the paper). Mian Mansha sb, the veteran tycoon of Pakistan, wasn’t fully into Islamic banking’s lucrative market until now, they decided to take advantage of Islamic bankaari by buying out (and ruining) a local bank (KASB bank) recently so that he could open some Islamic branches and add them to the portfolio of already 1500 branches of his MCB Bank. You can see how and why every media conglomerate in Pakistan owns a religious news channel for political reasons. Why phony people like Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Junaid Jamshed, Iliyaas Qadri and many more are able to fool the masses and make millions from this economy, .. probably you and everyone knows the answer to that, which is: “they have learnt the art of using religion is a commodity” (which I believe is the ONLY right use of this ‘commodity”. You must have witnessed blackmailing of kids in your community (yesterday and today) where they would have stopped you to get donations for 12-rabiyul awwal and they won’t let you pass-by until you contribute some amount to their un-audited fund. So, come on up and start using religion to your financial advantage, I’m doing the same (won’t tell you how)….Peace!

        • Ya Shaykh… Bara tau hum bahut ho gya hun pehle hi.. Taqreerain bhi bohat kein.. But ab aap k saath kaafi takraar ho gai.. :) Aap ki shaan mein gustaakhi ki ma’azrat..

  • It’s in there plan to shut-down branches and do branchless banking through phone & online. They will soon will be aggressively promoting there app breeze.

  • they also closed “Freelancers” account, or not opening new account if you say i’m “Freelancer” … kon bhai ? hum nai kholtay :)

  • its not closing. just consolidation.. same what they’ve done in Gulf countries in recent times.

  • ATM is the most important thing that branches do have, how people can do cash withdrawal transactions without ATM facility?

  • SCB is big bustard bank…in last few years they fire all union bank staff…before that they fire all grindlays stafff…………..if you want to learn corporate politics join scb……one of biggest bustard of all time who fire most of union bank and grindlays staff is Shariq Saleem ( will known as Haramzada)

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