What it does: Commercial banking and financial services across the world. Offers a variety of financial services, including loans, debit cards, personal finance, corporate finance, wealth management, investment, Islamic (Shariah-compliant) banking, and much more.
Best known for: Being innovative and international, winning the 2018 Asian Banker Excellence in Private Banking India award and the International Finance Awards’ Most Innovative Digital Bank in India.
Staff stats: 86,000 employees in 60 different markets (24 branches in Bangladesh).
Financials: Recently made US $1.1 billion in profit after taxes, a 13% decline from previous years. Income from interest is the bank’s primary revenue stream, making $8.8 billion. All other revenues combined recently totalled $6.1 billion.
The good: Competitive culture. Great benefits. Extensive career options (even more globally), and very good training opportunities for fresh graduates.
The not so good: Limited growth opportunities after the graduate program. Competitive and demanding work environment, poor work-life balance.
Hiring grads with degrees in: Finance, Accounting, Business, Business Management, Marketing, IT, Human Resources, Communications, and ‘Professional degrees’ (positions that simply require a degree, nothing specific mentioned).
The Standard Chartered Bank was founded when two Scottish men with similar ambitions came together. In 1853, James Wilson was given a charter by Queen Victoria to establish the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China. Soon after, branches were established throughout Asia, including Mumbai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Sometime later, John Patterson established the Standard Bank of British South Africa in 1862, which would eventually expand throughout the continent.
Despite enduring two world wars, losing branches and personnel, both continued to thrive in their respective regions. By 1969, the two amicably merged, realising their shared goal to meet the demands of emerging economies. The result was the Standard Chartered Bank, which then began expanding into Europe and the United States. It continues seeking dynamic high-opportunity markets to this day.
The Bangladesh branch traces its origins quite far back, opening its first branch in Chittagong. With an acquisition of ANZ Grindlays Bank, which opened in 1905, this cemented the company in history as the longest established bank in Bangladesh, and as the country’s largest foreign bank. As a company of ‘firsts’ in Bangladesh, Standard Chartered Bank was also the first to implement ATMs, launch a debit card, launch a Shariah-compliant credit card, open a 24-hour contact centre, and establish an effective online banking platform. It earns annual revenue of around BDT 8.6 billion (USD 116 million).
Standard Chartered Bank offers an ‘International Graduate Programme,’ which offers fresh graduates extensive training options to help choose a career path they’ll best enjoy. Training covers a variety of fields within the financial realm, including Financial Markets, Global Banking, Corporate Finance, Transaction Banking, Commercial Banking, Wealth Management, Retail Banking, Risk and Compliance (R & C). Each training option provides a unique banking experience and teaches essential skills. Each program features 12 - 18-month rotations between distinct elements of each function of commercial banking. This makes them a highly tailored way to learn exactly what you want on the job. Some of the training options are limited based on your location, but most are available anywhere there’s a bank office.
If you’re sharp, you can skip the graduate program and move straight into an analyst position anywhere in the world. Even if you don’t, this is normally a great stepping stone after the graduate program.
Unfortunately, your growth opportunities may be small after that. It’s an enormous company with a marginal growth trajectory, so competition for promotions is very high and pay rises may be infrequent. Depending on your project, working here could also mean long hours. It’s an extraordinary jump-start to a financial services career regardless.
The graduate programs offered by Standard Chartered Bank open in cycles each year, requiring either an application through your university or online. If you get through, you’ll be given both a technical and HR interview, both of which will consist of general reasoning and personal questions respectively. If you’re applying for an analyst role instead, expect a test pertinent to the type of analyst position you’re applying for.
The following are some common salaries to expect when starting out at Standard Chartered Bank. As you can see, the graduate program is fairly lucrative in comparison to domestic opportunities.
Employees report benefits like unlimited medical coverage, six months paid maternity leave for women and 24 days total of annual leave. Doctor’s appointments are covered up to ₹10,000.
Salaries at Standard Chartered Bank are highly competitive, with some senior or higher-up positions offering quite lucrative wages. Bank managers can earn anywhere from BDT 888k to 1.4m (USD 10,461 to 16,492). If you’re interested in being a trader and diving into the markets with a large amount of funding and effective strategies at your back, an FX Trading Associate with the bank can earn around BDT 1.5m (USD 17,670) annually, plus bonuses for exceptional work. The most lucrative positions are in the personal finance sector, particularly as Personal Financial Consultants or other senior executive jobs. A Personal Finance Consultant with Standard Chartered Bank can earn around 4.42m (USD 52,070) annually.
While the hours can be long, the bank cultivates an almost ‘familial’ culture with its benefits. It has its own cricket teams and hosts team sports carnivals to keep its employees active, as well as their families. The rotations graduates experience provide plenty of diversity in colleagues and experiences, keeping the experience fresh.
Being in the financial sector, the workload typically consists of a never-ending sea of task after task, making work-life a challenge to balance effectively. The extreme amount of work plus a lack of life after work does put extra stress on employees, which can sometimes trickle into the environment. However, despite the constant heavy workloads, the bank’s variety of career options and the freedom to pursue what you wish with the bank tends to keep the staff friendly and optimistic.
Standard Chartered Bank has several current ambitions, one of which is making global financial markets harder for criminals to navigate and exploit. It has three primary values.
Standard Chartered Bank primarily contributes to the local Bangladesh communities through its flagship community project, ‘Seeing is Believing.’ The programme provides a variety of different eye care services, including cataract surgeries, screenings. The programme also works to reduce preventable blindness to rural communities who don’t usually have access to eye care services. The ‘Seeing is Believing’ project has provided over 67,000 cataract surgeries, 1.2 million screening services, and over 400 patients who have undergone sight-restoring surgical procedures.
The bank also has many other admirable social programmes and initiatives, including a ‘Financial Education for Youth’ programme, which teaches investment and banking topics to rural schools, and a ‘Women-Empowerment’ programme, which ‘aims to empower and equip adolescent girls from low-income families with the confidence, knowledge, and skills they need to be integral economic leaders in their families and communities.’
Standard Chartered Bank is an international leader in a notoriously cut-throat industry that seemingly never sleeps. Despite the unfriendly competitiveness and lack of empathy found within the walls of many banking and market industry companies, Standard Chartered Bank manages to maintain a mostly positive work environment.
Employees are generally satisfied with the way management handles things and the extensive amount of opportunities the bank provides. However, there is still a strong sense of competitiveness, and extremely hard work is expected from those looking to grow within the company, which means there’s not much time for a life outside work.
Overall, Standard Chartered Bank is a phenomenal place to start a career, grow your skills through extensive training programmes, and ultimately carve out a career path that you actually enjoy—just don’t expect it to be easy.