World News

Standard Chartered freezes hiring, warns of bonus cuts: memo

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered <STAN.L> has told staff it is freezing all external and internal hiring for two months and signaled it is likely to cut bonuses for 2020, as the Asia and Africa-focused lender grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The FTSE 100 bank would also re-prioritize discretionary investment for the time being, the company said in a memo seen by Reuters.

The memo said the lender expected to have to make “sensible adjustments” to any variable compensation for 2020 given its finances were “likely to be challenged”.

StanChart’s bonus pool was worth 1.3 billion pounds ($1.61 billion) in 2019, up from 1.2 billion pounds the year before.

StanChart also plans to re-invest the money saved on employee travel costs in technology to help staff work from home better, the memo said.

(Reporting by Sinead Cruise, Additional reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee, Writing by Iain Withers; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Susan Fenton)