Aberdeen Backs Standard Chartered, Give CEO a Chance

Aberdeen Asset Management Plc said Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands should be given the chance to fix the bank as a slump in shares erased more than 10 billion pounds ($16 billion) this year.

Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen, the bank’s second-largest shareholder with an 11.2 percent stake valued about 2.6 billion pounds, said there isn’t “anything fundamentally wrong” with the bank, according to an e-mailed statement. Standard Chartered will hold an investor conference mid-November.

“We believe that the current management of Standard Chartered, led by Sir John Peace and Peter Sands, should be given the opportunity to address the bank’s current issues and deal with them now,” said Gilbert. “We are looking forward to hearing details of the turnaround plans” in Hong Kong.

Standard Chartered shares slumped about 16 percent last week, bringing their decline for the year to 31 percent. The bank posted a 16 percent drop in third-quarter pretax profit from a year earlier and forecast lower second-half underlying profit amid rising regulatory and compliance costs.

Sands is also under pressure amid mounting legal costs. U.S. prosecutors reopened investigations to determine whether the bank, which entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in 2012, withheld evidence of Iran sanctions violations, people briefed on the matter said last week.

Standard Chartered agreed in August 2012 to pay $340 million to the New York Department of Financial Services for its role in hiding or disguising the identity of Iranian clients in billions of dollars of wire transfers.

Aberdeen is the second-largest investor in Standard Chartered after Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte.

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