Standard Chartered May Have Job displacements but points on Reskilling Opportunities: Bill Winters

Bill Winters
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In an exclusive interview, Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters discussed various issues, including the impact of technology on jobs, interest rates, losses in China, and Dubai’s growing prominence as a global financial center.

Winters acknowledged that some jobs at Standard Chartered, particularly in manual areas like technology and operations, would diminish as the bank focused on cost reduction and process automation. However, he emphasized that affected employees would have the opportunity to transition into other roles within the organization, noting that the bank’s headcount in Singapore remained stable.

“Our transformation involves investing in technology to continually enhance our business and deliver better outcomes for clients,” Winters stated. “While some people will be displaced, we are committed to retraining and upskilling our employees along the way.”

Standard Chartered, which earns most of its profits in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, has been implementing cost-cutting measures as part of a plan to reduce expenses by over US$1 billion from 2022 to 2024. This includes trimming roles in middle-office functions such as human resources and digital transformation across Asia.

Winters acknowledged the evolving nature of the banking industry over the past four decades, with jobs being displaced and new roles emerging. Despite this, he stated that the bank’s headcount has remained relatively stable since he joined in 2015, with voluntary attrition rates between 9 and 11 percent annually.

Regarding job cuts, Winters emphasized that Standard Chartered’s transformation program is focused on simplifying operations, digitizing processes, and automating tasks, rather than solely on cost reduction. He highlighted efforts to reskill and train employees, particularly in service centers like Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, and Chennai.

“We are providing ample opportunities for employees to adapt to the changing landscape, even as certain tasks become automated over time,” Winters concluded.

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