StanChart cuts staff to limit its costs

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Standard Chartered cut its headcount by 800 to control costs in the first quarter of this year after hiring aggressively in 2010.

The Asia-focused bank said it was still on track to increase employee numbers by 1,000 from the beginning of the year but that it was holding off on replacing leavers.

Standard hired 7,000 staff last year, giving it about 85,000 at the start of 2011. The bank has faced questions over its rising costs.

Richard Meddings, the bank's finance director, said: "We've got a good grip on expenses. This isn't about cutting jobs." In a trading statement, the bank said it made a strong start to the year.