Standard Chartered Plc has released its results for the year ended 31 December 2017, showing significant improvement in profitability.

The results showed that the international bank recorded profit before tax of $3 billion in the year under review, a 175 per cent increase compared with the previous year figure and up 71 per cent excluding principal finance.

The operating income stood at $14.3 billion, up by three per cent, despite a four per cent drag from financial markets. Standard Chartered also recorded 13 per cent income growth from key areas of investment, with particular strength in liability-led products, just as industry-wide low volatility during 2017 impacted its performance in financial markets.

“Other operating expenses of $8.6 billion were well controlled rising two per cent due primarily to variable pay. Over 85 per cent of the four-year $2.9 billion gross cost efficiencies target has been achieved with a year to go.

“Regulatory costs rose 15 per cent, with several large programmes including Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) II and IFRS 9 being implemented. Further significant progress was made in implementing financial crime prevention capabilities. Continuing cooperation and ongoing discussions with US and UK authorities to resolve historical matters

“Asset quality overall has improved with the focus on better quality origination within a more granular risk appetite. Loan impairment of $1.2 billion halved as management actions resulted in improvement across all client segments. Profit from associates and joint ventures rose $185 million following better performances in China and Indonesia,” the bank stated.

 Commenting on the results, the Group chief executive, Standard Chartered Bank, Bill Winters stated: “The transformation of the Group continued in 2017 with the significant improvement in underlying profits, a strong capital position and emerging clarity on regulatory capital requirements allowing us to resume paying dividends. We are encouraged by our start to 2018 and remain focused on realising the Group’s full potential.”