Standard Chartered to digitise 'everything it can' to improve productivity

Anh Nguyen

Standard Chartered to digitise ‘everything it can’ to improve productivity

Standard Chartered plans to digitise as much of the business as it can to improve productivity and cut costs.

The global bank revealed its technology ambitions for this year after reporting a seven percent fall in pre-tax profits from US$7.5 billion (£4.5 billion) in 2012 to US$6.9 billion (£4.1 billion) in 2013.

Outlining its priorities for 2014, Standard Chartered said in its results for the year ended 31 December that it will: "Innovate, digitise and simplify in order to improve productivity and effectiveness.

"To deliver positive jaws and keep investing for growth, simultaneously, we have to be delivering significant productivity improvements every year. That requires constant innovation, a bias towards digitising everything we can, and a relentless focus on simplifying and streamlining the way we work."

Following a strategy review in June 2013, Standard Chartered announced a reorganisation of its regions, business and functions to enable it to concentrate on its Asia, Africa and Middle East markets.

The reorganisation will help the bank's digital and simplification strategy: "As we strip out duplication and drive greater standardisation," the bank said.

Standard Chartered wants to use technology to drive innovation in the business, rather than be controlled by technology.

"As a fundamentally digitisable industry, every aspect of banking can be transformed by technology. This is as much an opportunity as a threat. Through technology-driven innovation, we can empower our clients, cut costs and improve risk management, reinventing every aspect of the business," said Standard Chartered group chief executive Peter Sands.

"The trick is to make it happen to our advantage, rather than have it happen to us."

In its results, Standard Chartered also said it had invested in systems last year to enhance its controls and reduce the risk of manual errors, as part of a programme to rebuild trust and credibility in the finance industry.