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Record start at StanChart

<div>STANDARD Chartered has enjoyed record income and pre-tax operating profit so far this year, the bank said yesterday in a trading update, as it announced it had cut 2,500 jobs.<br /><br />The bank, which focuses on emerging markets, said income growth had been boosted by a strong performance in wholesale banking, although income in consumer banking was slightly down.<br /><br />Chief executive Peter Sands said the bank had delivered a &ldquo;strong performance&rdquo; but was cautious about the prospects of a global financial recovery.<br /><br />&ldquo;Although there are tentative signs of improving economic conditions in some of our markets, equally there are signs of continuing stress,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />Sands said the bank had benefited from a conservative business model and from the relatively low impact of the financial crisis on the emerging nations where Standard Chartered does the majority of its business.<br /><br />But impairment levels rose in the second quarter of the year as customers suffered &ldquo;increased levels of stress&rdquo;.<br /><br />The 2,500 jobs have already been cut as part of an ongoing cost cutting programme, the bank said.&nbsp;</div>