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Decision on dividends due early next year, says Standard Chartered CFO

  • The bank has reported a 4 percent increase in year-on-year income from the previous quarter
  • The amount of expenses paid also rose in the third quarter, but this was mainly due to an increase in investments
  • Nonetheless, investors weren't convinced and the stock was on track to its worst trading day since March 2016, down by more than 6 percent

Standard Chartered remains on schedule to decide how much it will pay out to investors at the start of next year, the bank's CFO Andy Halford said Wednesday.

Investors have been wondering when Standard Chartered will reset paying dividends after several postponements.

Halford said a decision will be made at the full-year meeting, after some uncertainties dissipate.

"We are very mindful that investors are looking for resumption in dividend," Halford told CNBC.

"By the end of the year many of those factors will be clear," he said about doubts over whether the bank will be able to deliver enduring profitability and the impact of new regulations.

"I am sure the board in January/February time will take all of that into account and decide what's the best thing to do."

The bank reported Wednesday a 4 percent increase in year-on-year income from the previous quarter. The amount of expenses paid also rose in the third quarter, but this was mainly due to an increase in investments.

Nonetheless, investors weren't convinced and the stock was on track to its worst trading day since March 2016, down by more than 6 percent.

"I think there's a lot of focus upon the top line in the bank and over near-term we have been fairly flat on the top line, but if you look back over the last nine months, actually the top line is up about 5 percent," Halford said about the share price move.

Here are some key metrics:

  • Income of $3.6 billion versus $3.5 billion a year ago
  • Expenses of $2.5 billion versus $2.1 billion a year ago
  • Underlying profit before tax of $814 million versus $458 million a year ago

Greater China and North Asia contributed the most to the bank's income compared to other regions, up by 8 percent from a year ago. Southeast Asia, on the other hand, saw the worst geographic performance from last year, though it still contributed $937 million to the bank's income.

Halford confirmed the bank will continue investing in its retail and wealth management arms, because these are the areas where it has seen "really good growth" in income.

Standard Chartered warned in its outlook that market competition continues to pressure margins and geopolitical tensions pose elevated risks.