Both Standard Chartered and Ant Group will contribute to tackling global issues such as climate change and ocean protection.

The signing ceremony was officiated by Dr José Viñals, group chairman of Standard Chartered, and Eric Jing, chairman and CEO of Ant Group.

Since the two firms signed an MOU in 2017, they have conducted extensive research in China and other markets.

In addition, in the field of green and sustainable finance, Standard Chartered is one of the joint-mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners of Ant Group’s sustainability-linked syndicated loan.

Furthermore, the two parties have previously collaborated in digital innovation and inclusive finance for SMEs.

Also, the bank will support Ant Group to build an industry-leading global liquidity and foreign exchange management structure.

Viñals said: “We are honoured to enter into this extended agreement and deepen our longstanding strategic partnership with Ant Group. Building on our mutual trust and joint commitment, we look forward to leveraging our shared vision to further our global cooperation in ESG, inclusive finance for SMEs and digital innovation.”

Jing added: “Ant Group and Standard Chartered are long-term partners. We have always been committed to using technology to assist SMEs in their digital transformation journeys, and jointly promoting global sustainable and inclusive development. Together with our ecosystem partners, we look forward to expanding our cooperation with Standard Chartered, and further leveraging the expertise from both sides in digital technology, green finance and inclusive finance, to make greater contributions to global sustainable development.”

Standard Chartered Wealth Management recorded operating income of $1,006m in H1 2023, a 5% rise year-on-year.

The growth in wealth for Standard Chartered in H1 2023 was attributed to a gradual recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic in certain markets. For the quarter, it was up 10% year-on-year.

Furthermore, this was a return to growth for the wealth management arm after five successive quarters of declines. The bank stated this was due to continued investment in the franchise, as well as a rebound in customer activity in China and Hong Kong.