Standard Chartered in talks with several potential buyers for private banking assets

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Standard Chartered is in talks with several potential buyers for its Latin American private banking businesses as the UK bank turns its focus to core markets, particularly Asia, bank spokesperson Julie Gibson told BNamericas.

"The reason behind the sale is that private banking is still a relatively new business for Standard Chartered," Gibson said.

In February 2008, Standard Chartered bought American Express Bank from American Express (NYSE: AXP) for US$823mn, leaving the UK bank with some US$6bn in assets under management in Latin America, including both the wholesale and the private banking businesses.

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The sale will not affect Standard Chartered's wholesale banking operations in the region, she added. Standard Chartered has been active in that segment for more than 50 years in Latin America.

Standard Chartered is also considering transferring its Latin American private bank clients to its existing centers in Europe and Asia, according to documents obtained by BNamericas. The bank will make a final decision over the coming weeks, the document reads.

Through its offices in Chile, Miami and Uruguay, Standard Chartered services private banking clients in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.