Looking ahead, Standard Chartered said it expects some costs for 2021 to rise slightly from last year due to its investment in digital technology.
Standard Chartered last week reported a first-quarter 2021 income of $3.9 billion, down by 3 per cent on a year ago.
Underlying pre-tax profit rose by 18 per cent year-on-year to $1.8 billion, benefiting from a fall in business impairments as the impact of the pandemic abated; it also benefited from rising business momentum, the UK-listed bank said in a statement. On a statutory basis, pre-tax profit rose by 59 per cent to $1.4 billion; the first quarter of 2020 included $258 million of goodwill impairments.
The firm, which earns the bulk of its revenues in regions such as Asia, Africa and the Indian sub-continent, said that its Common Equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 14 per cent, at the top of its target range.
Looking ahead, Standard Chartered said that it expects some costs for 2021 to rise slightly from last year due to its investment in digital technology, but the spending should remain below $10 billion. It also predicts that impairment charges will fall “significantly” this year.
The bank said that it had logged a “record quarter” in its wealth management arm, with income rising by 21 per cent on a year ago, and a “particularly strong sales performance” in forex, equities and structured notes.