Cost pressure forces Standard to cut jobs

Johannesburg - Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK], South Africa's largest bank by market value, has announced to staff that a fresh round of retrenchments will most likely hit managers based in its London and Johannesburg offices.

A confidential email was circulated on Tuesday afternoon signed by group CEO Jacko Maree and Sim Tshabalala, head of Standard Bank South Africa.

The email, which cited cost pressures for the staff reductions, was confirmed by Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom.

In its interim results to end-June Standard Bank said its earnings rose 11% to R5.9bn during the period under review on the back of improved market confidence and better returns from wealth management business Liberty Holdings [JSE:LBH]. The group also managed to nearly halve its impairment charge from R7bn in the first half of 2009 to R4bn.
 
The dividend was maintained at 141c.

At the release of the results in August, CEO Jacko Maree said Standard Bank wants to become a link between international capital markets and Africa, focusing specifically on the oil, gas, telecommunications, power, infrastructure and mining industries as well as the financial sector.

"If you want to play in this game you need a strong dollar balance sheet - not just a strong rand one," said Maree.
 
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