Mumbai: Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Bill Winters warned its errant Indian borrowers that it would get “very aggressive” if they did not cooperate with the bank, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Friday.
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.
“If they are transparent with us, direct with us, if they are doing everything they can to improve their business but also protect us, we will sit (with) those clients every time,” Winters told the newspaper in an interview.
“If we have a client that is not transparent or has different interests that they are clearly prioritising above ours, then we will be very aggressive,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.
Standard Chartered last month named Zarin Daruwala, a senior banker at India`s ICICI Bank , as the new chief executive of its India operations, as the British bank looks to halt rising losses on loans in the country.
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.
Winters told the Economic Times the bank had overextended itself and had made mistakes by not following proper lending practices. He cited instances of giving unsecured loans and of loans to the holding company rather than the operational unit.
“I think in the quest for growth we compromised on a lot of different fronts.”