Investors call for Standard Chartered boss to leave following falling profits

 

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Speculation was rising yesterday that Standard Chartered’s chief executive Peter Sands would announce plans to leave the Asia-focused bank early in the new year.

Mr Sands has been one of the longest serving bank chief executives, having run Standard Chartered for eight years. He is credited with having steered it successfully through the financial crisis.

But more recent missteps and profit warnings have led to increasing expectations that his departure is imminent, with investors agitating for such an outcome.

Yesterday afternoon, some investors continued calling for the chief executive’s head in spite of a Financial Times front-page story critical of Sir John Peace, Mr Sands’ chairman who has been seen as planning for his removal.

Three top-10 shareholders are now thought to be demanding Mr Sands be replaced next year, while Reuters reported that two top-30 investors it had spoken to wanted changes but fell short of calling for his ousting.

The bank repeated its denial that changes were being discussed: “There are no plans to replace Peter or John or new succession plans being worked on for either. The overwhelming view of major shareholders who have spoken to us is that the bank needs stability in its management team as it repositions for growth,” it said.

This week, it admitted the US authorities were extending their monitoring of the company’s behaviour for a further three years following its £420m fine for breaching US sanctions against Iran.

In yesterday’s Financial Times the Barclays chairman Sir David Walker criticised his opposite number at Standard Chartered for holding down multiple jobs.

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