(Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc returned to dividends and proposed a share buyback as profit missed forecasts with the global pandemic weighing on earnings.
The London-based bank’s adjusted pretax profit of $2.51 billion, missing analyst estimates of $2.55 billion. Credit impairments were $2.29 billion. The bank said income in 2021 is expected to be in line with 2020, though lower in the first half.
“We remain strong and profitable, although returns in 2020 were clearly impacted by higher provisions, reduced economic activity and low interest rates, in each case the result of COVID-19,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters said in the statement.
Standard Chartered confirmed it will issue a dividend of $0.09 per share, completing a clean sweep of major British lenders to resume payouts. The Bank of England relaxed its ban on payments in December, almost a year after it pushed the financial industry to preserve capital for lending during the U.K.’s worst recession in three centuries.
The emerging markets-focused lender has revived cost-cutting efforts that were paused during the pandemic. The bank has in recent months resumed hundreds of job cuts and continues to look for savings.
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