Standard Chartered row with top shareholder


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The Independent Online

Standard Chartered is in dispute with its largest shareholder, Temasek, over the structure of the bank's board, raising fresh speculation that the Singapore investment house may look to offload its stake.

Temasek wants the UK-listed bank to appoint more independent directors, while Standard insists it already has enough strong non-executives. Observers say the matter is a clash of corporate governance cultures. In Singapore it is typical to have a supervisory board made up of one executive with the rest all drawn from outside the company.

Standard notes that it has to comply with UK rules where a unitary model which sees the board made up mostly of full-time employees is preferred.

Last month it emerged that Temasek, which has 18 per cent of the shares, had spoken to potential buyers for its stake in Standard. Those talks did not lead anywhere definitive, it seems.

The row has come at an awkward time for the bank.

In August, a New York regulator accused it of improperly hiding money transactions with Iran. It paid $340m (£211m) to settle the potentially devastating allegations.

Temasek could get about £6.5bn if it did decide to offload its holding in Standard Chartered.