The bank announced its withdrawal from Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, Reuters reported.
The move marks a major shift for Standard Chartered, which has been one of the largest European creditors to invest in the continent in recent years, at a time when its peers have been pulling back.
Reuters reports, however, that the bank intends to continue to invest in Africa and the Middle East, but “remains disciplined in its assessment of where we can deliver significantly improved returns for shareholders,” said chief executive Bill Winters.
The exiting markets generated about 1% of total revenue in 2021 and a similar proportion of pre-tax profit, the bank said. The bank currently operates in 59 markets. The number of people to be sent out of work as a result of this decision remains unknown.