By Yifan Wang 
 

Standard Chartered PLC said Thursday that its profit fell 40% in 2020, as sharply higher credit impairments and weak interest rates hurt profitability in a pandemic-struck year.

The Asia-focused bank posted pretax underlying profit of $2.51 billion last year, compared with $4.17 billion in 2019.

Operating income fell 3% to $14.77 billion, with net interest income declining 11% to $6.88 billion.

The lower interest income was mainly due to a narrower net interest margin, which fell 0.31 percentage point to 1.31% in 2020.

The lender expects its overall income in 2021 to be similar to the previous year, as the low-interest-rate environment continues to weigh on its business.

However, the bank said it expects income to resume growth of 5%-7% annually from 2022, as the global economic recovery would be led by large Asian markets, where Standard Chartered makes two-thirds of its income.

 

Write to Yifan Wang at yifan.wang@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 24, 2021 23:57 ET (04:57 GMT)

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