Standard Chartered's Hong Kong chief quits

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The Independent Online

Peter Wong, Standard Chartered's top executive in Hong Kong, quit yesterday just days after the bank laid off 200 staff there. He will be replaced by his deputy, Peter Sullivan.

Peter Wong, Standard Chartered's top executive in Hong Kong, quit yesterday just days after the bank laid off 200 staff there. He will be replaced by his deputy, Peter Sullivan.

Reports said Mr Wong, 52, resigned after disagreements over the job cuts in the Hong Kong consumer banking unit. Mervyn Davies, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, said Mr Wong quit "for a variety of reasons". He said the split was amicable although he was disappointed by the resignation.

Mr Wong joined Standard Chartered from Citigroup in 1997 as head of consumer banking in Hong Kong, and became chief executive of Hong Kong three years later.

The London-based bank blamed the job cuts on tough competition in the Hong Kong market, where dozens of banks serve a population of just 6.8 million. Standard Chartered is competing with Citigroup and HSBC in the region.

Mr Wong, a well-known and respected figure in Hong Kong's banking circles, had been leading Standard Chartered's efforts to find a partner in mainland China. Mr Davies said the resignation would have no impact on the bank's expansion in China, where it is understood to be interested in Everbright Bank.

Mr Sullivan takes over on Friday and will be assisted by Ben Hung, who is currently the head of investor relations in London and is set to return to Hong Kong as the chief operating officer.

Mr Sullivan, an Australian who captained the national rugby union team in the 1970s, joined Standard Chartered from Citigroup in 1995. He came to Hong Kong in September and previously ran the bank's African business. Before that he oversaw the integration of Grindlays, which was taken over by Standard Chartered in 2000.

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