Standard Chartered CEO Says Regulation ‘Avalanche’ a Challenge

Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands said the U.K. bank faces an “avalanche” of new rules set by both international and local regulators.

The bank has “a number of challenges in the current, really quite turbulent global economy,” Sands, 51, said today in an interview with Bloomberg TV Indonesia’s Tommy Tjokro in Jakarta. “We are facing an avalanche of regulatory changes, some at the international level, but increasingly at the national level. There’s a degree of fragmentation in the regulatory agenda.”

Sands said in December 2011 the U.K.,’s bank levy and additional regulations would cost the lender “north of $500 million” a year. The London-based firm, which gets most of its profit in Asia, was fined $667 million by U.S. regulators last year for breaches of U.S sanctions on Iran.

Carson Block, the short seller who runs Muddy Waters LLC, said in a May 10 conference he’s betting against the debt of Standard Chartered because of the “deteriorating” quality of the loans it has provided.

Sands said he hasn’t talked to Block and declined to comment further other than to say he is “very comfortable about the quality” of the bank’s loans.

Standard Chartered is the oldest bank in Indonesia, having started operations in the country 150 years ago.

-- With assistance from Berni Moestafa and Yudith Ho in Jakarta. Editors: Jon Menon, Keith Campbell

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