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Standard Chartered bank says 2013 net profit down 16%

Hong Kong: Standard Chartered bank on Wednesday said net profit fell more than 16 per cent in 2013 as it was hit by impairment charges at its South Korean operations.

The London-based but Asia-focused lender said net profit came in at $3.99 billion last year, down 16.65 per cent from $4.79 billion in 2012.

Operating income fell one per cent to $18.67 billion in 2013, compared to the previous year, while annual profit before tax was down 11 per cent to $6.06 billion.

“2013 was a challenging year, for the industry and for Standard Chartered,” said Standard Chartered chairman John Peace in a statement.

The bank said loan impairment increased by 35 per cent to 1.62 billion and described its South Korean operations as “extremely challenging” with a loss of $12 million.

“While our clients have remained very active, the overall outcome for the group has not been as good as we would have liked,” Peace said.

Consumer banking income for the group grew by two per cent to $7.18 billion, while wholesale banking income fell two per cent to $11.49 billion.

In November last year the bank lowered its annual revenue growth target to a range of seven to nine per cent for the next “couple of years”, from an initial forecast of at least 10 per cent.

The bank said last year its 2012 net profit was flat even after the British lender was hit by huge fines for violating US sanctions on Iran and other countries.