Standard Chartered has appointed Tracey McDermott, the former acting head of the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, to head up its corporate, public and regulatory affairs.
McDermott joins Standard Chartered’s management committee as it proceeds with its restructuring plans to improve its performance. Bill Winters, its chief executive, is reported by the Financial Times to be seeking to shed $100 billion of risky assets, strip $2.9 billion from its annual cost base and cut 15,000 of its 86,000 jobs by 2018.
With jobs high on the agenda, Finance Magnates reported in November that the bank would be cutting around a tenth of its global corporate and institutional banking headcount as part of a strategy to cut costs and improve the bottom line.
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The bank has experienced a tough few years after being fined by US regulators for sanctions breaches and incurring heavy losses on risky loans. Winters said he will tighten Standard Chartered’s compliance and controls, recently warning of his ‘zero tolerance’ approach.
The list of the bank’s current regulatory woes include US investigations for sanctions breaches and failings in anti-money laundering policies.
Hong Kong authorities are scrutinising its role in a 2009 initial public offering. The FCA, meanwhile, has launched its own probe into Standard Chartered, examining how robust its financial-crime controls were in relation to correspondent banking undertaken beyond Europe.
McDermott left the FCA last year having temporarily led the watchdog after the departure of Martin Wheatley as chief executive following the Conservative election win in 2015. She was at the time in the running for the permanent CEO role but the then Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that she had dropped out of the leadership race and moved Andrew Bailey over from the Bank of England to the FCA instead.
McDermott has been with the FCA since 2001 and is best known for her work as head of enforcement, where she oversaw the now infamous probes into the rigging of Libor and foreign-exchange benchmarks which have resulted in multi-million-pound fines.