Standard Chartered Plc named Zarin Daruwala, a senior banker at India’s ICICI Bank, as new chief executive of its India operations on Tuesday as the British bank looks to halt rising losses on loans in the country.
Standard Chartered’s India unit, which was one of the most profitable markets for the Asia-focussed bank a few years ago, has seen a sharp spike in loan losses in the last couple of years, denting its global balance sheet.
The bank’s loan impairment in India in the first half of this year rose to $483 million, up from $56 million in the same period last year, Standard Chartered said in an earnings presentation this month.
Ms Daruwala, who has worked in the Indian banking industry for 25 years, will be expected to turn around the bank’s business in India, where Standard Chartered’s loan exposure to corporates stand at $33 billion.
As president of the wholesale banking group at ICICI Bank, India’s top private sector lender, Ms Daruwala led teams including corporate banking, project finance, structured finance and financial institutions, Standard Chartered said in a statement.
Ms Daruwala, who will take over from Sunil Kaushal, the newly appointed Standard Chartered regional CEO for Africa and the Middle East, was also responsible for building out ICICI Bank’s rural and agri-finance offering.
She will report to Standard Chartered’s regional CEO, ASEAN and South Asia, Ajay Kanwal.
Standard Chartered, which makes two-thirds of its profits in Asia, this month posted its fifth successive quarter of falling revenue weighed down by growing global regulatory costs and rising losses on loans in India.
The bank plans to axe 15,000 jobs and raise $5.1 billion by selling new shares as its new Chief Executive Bill Winters strives to restore profitability after three years of falling profits and strategic mistakes.