A Standard Chartered Plc. bank branch stands in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

StanChart Loses Two Top India Bankers Amid Turn-Around Efforts

(Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc., which is trying to cut costs in India and boost returns from its push into consumer banking, has lost two key executives in the South Asia region.

Gopikrishnan MS, who heads foreign exchange, rates and credit for South Asia, and Shyamal Saxena, who oversees the region’s retail business, have decided to leave the bank, a Standard Chartered spokesman said by email. Senior-level departures at the local unit kicked off this year when Sandeep Das, who was in charge of private banking, moved to oversee the India wealth management business of rival Barclays Plc.

India is among four countries across Asia and the Middle East chosen by the lender as the focus of a new plan to reduce costs and engineer a turnaround. The U.K. bank has provided for a bulk of the bad loans made to Indian corporates before Zarin Daruwala took over as chief executive officer of the local unit in November 2015. Daruwala has been trying to build its retail business through steps including digitization and faster approvals for credit cards and personal loans.

India made the biggest contribution to Standard Chartered’s pre-tax profit as recently as 2010, before falling behind Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Korea as a key driver of earnings, according to an exchange filing last month. The lender has the biggest presence among foreign banks in India, with about 100 branches, and has operated in the country for more than 160 years.

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