history of standard chartered bank
Standard Chartered was formed in 1969 through a merger of two banks: The Standard Bank of British South Africa, founded in 1863, and the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, founded in 1853.
Both companies were keen to capitalise on the huge expansion of trade and to earn the handsome profits to be made from financing the movement of goods between Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Chartered Bank
- Founded by James Wilson following the grant of a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1853.
- Chartered opened its first branches in Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata and Shanghai in 1858, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore in 1859.
- Traditional trade was in cotton from Mumbai (Bombay), indigo and tea from Kolkata, rice from Burma, sugar from Java, tobacco from Sumatra, hemp from Manila and silk from Yokohama.
- Played a major role in the development of trade with the East which followed the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the extension of the telegraph to China in 1871.
- In 1957 Chartered Bank bought the Eastern Bank together with the Ionian Bank’s Cyprus Branches. This established a presence in the Gulf.
The Standard Bank
- Founded in the Cape Province of South Africa in 1862 by John Paterson. Commenced business in Port Elizabeth, in January 1863.
- Was prominent in financing the development of the diamond fields of Kimberley from 1867 and later extended its network further north to the new town of Johannesburg when gold was discovered there in 1885.
- Expanded in Southern, Central and Eastern Africa and, by 1953, had 600 offices.
- In 1965, it merged with the Bank of West Africa, expanding its operations into Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
From the early 1990s, Standard Chartered has focused on developing its strong franchises in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has concentrated on consumer, corporate and institutional banking and on the provision of treasury services – areas in which the Group had particular strength and expertise.
Since 2000 the Bank has achieved several milestones with a number of strategic alliances and acquisitions, which have extended the customer and geographic reach and broadened the product range that Standard Chartered offers.