José Viñals, Group Chairman at Standard Chartered When the coronavirus pandemic first hit Standard Chartered’s biggest markets in North Asia – mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea – we did not have long to react to protect our customers and staff. Our retail branches and offices had to be deep-cleaned continually and retrofitted to adhere to social distancing guidelines. In some cases, they were closed entirely as part of the lockdown measures and our customers migrated to telephone or online banking, many for the first time, while staff had to be set up to work from home in large numbers. Corporate clients, worried about extreme volatility in the markets, drew down on their revolving credit facilities to guarantee having cash on hand. Small businesses concerned about loan repayments and working capital wanted to know how we could help. The result of these multiple, simultaneous, and severe challenges far exceeded our expectations. Howe er, in a matter of weeks, we were able to launch programmes to help support clients and customers across our network, move 70 per cent of our 85,000 staff to work from home, and ensure that our processing capabilities and risk controls made a seamless transition…. Read full this story
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