STANDARD Chartered’s headcount fell by 800 during the first-quarter of this year as the bank slowed hiring to control costs, the firm revealed in a trading update yesterday.
However, overall expenses rose and headcount increased in its wholesale division. “We are maintaining a firm grip on expenses,” the bank said, adding that the increase is “broadly in line with the run rate seen in the second half of 2010”.
Despite hiring fewer people than it lost during the first three months of 2011, StanChart still expects to have increased its payroll by 1,000 by the end of the year. This marks a significant deceleration in hiring, however, compared to a net addition of 7,000 jobs last year.
Despite slowing its recruitment, StanChart said that it had seen “double digit income growth compared to the first quarter of 2010”, with consumer banking contributing proportionately more to the bottom line as part of a strategic rebalancing of the business.
Its investment bank saw business drop off, it said, as “market conditions have resulted in a lower number of deals being closed”, adding that the “deal pipeline remains robust”.