(Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc is preparing further job cuts as the emerging markets lender continues a restructuring that was postponed by the onset of the pandemic.

The London-headquartered bank is expected to cut several hundred staff next month across its global businesses, with the reductions focused on more junior employees, according to people familiar with the matter. The bank has about 85,000 employees around the world.

Job cuts restarted in the second half of last year as Standard Chartered, like other major lenders, faced pressure to curtail costs to cope with the impact of the pandemic. It’s one of a handful of large European banks who have resumed job reductions in the past months including HSBC Holdings Plc and Deutsche Bank AG.

“A number of roles are being made redundant in line with our commitment to transforming the bank to ensure its future competitiveness, work that has been underway for the last few years,” Standard Chartered said in a statement.

In July, the company said it was making a “small number of roles” redundant. Since then, several senior managers have left, including Didier von Daeniken, the head of its private banking arm.

Standard Chartered Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford said in October that the firm needed to improve returns and its goal of achieving a 10% return on equity had been pushed back by Covid. The lender has said it will consider resuming dividend payments to investors after the Bank of England started to relax pandemic-related curbs in December.

The latest job cuts come as Standard Chartered prepares for the eventual departure of Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters.

Simon Cooper, the head of Standard Chartered’s investment and commercial banking operations, is being positioned as the leading internal candidate to replace Winters, who has run the company since 2015.

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