Standard Chartered
London-based Standard Chartered Bank is reportedly seeking to sell loans worth about $4 billion, including $1 billion in India. Picture: The sky is reflected in the glass windows at the head office of Standard Chartered bank in the City of London Feb. 27, 2015.Reuters file

London-based bank Standard Chartered has cut 4,000 jobs in its retail banking operations as part of a restructuring effort amid falling profits and has hinted at trimming down its workforce further in the coming months.

Hit by bad loans in India, the bank's profit plunged 44% to $1.8 billion in the first half of calendar year 2015.

"We are clearly intent on getting greater efficiency in the business, some of that will be headcount, some will be extra investment in technology," Standard Chartered Finance Director Andy Halford, told Reuters.

As a result of the slump in profit, the bank halved its dividend and may raise capital if necessary, he added.

Standard Chartered's new chief executive Bill Winters on Wednesday said that the bank would retain its headquarters in the UK, while lauding changes to the bank levy in the country's emergency Budget last month.

"We were happy with Budget, which took one of the big issues off the table," Winters told The Telegraph.

The bank had been contemplating to shift its headquarters to Asia, where it has a major presence, due to high bank taxes in the UK, but will hold on to it for now. "It is not a top priority for us right now," said Winters.

It is pertinent here that UK-based banks had expressed concern over the taxes, as they felt it would hurt their overseas operations. 

Another UK-based bank, HSBC, which had earlier contemplated moving its head office outside the UK, is still looking to re-locate despite the subsequent changes in the tax. 

"The bank will make a decision on its domicile by the end of the year," said HSBC chairman Douglas Flint.

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