Standard Chartered has posted statutory pre-tax profit of $3.3bn for the year 2021, more than double compared with $1.6bn in 2020.

Wealth management income surged 12% to $2.2bn mainly due to sustained increase in client numbers and a double-digit rise in assets under management (AUM).

The bank registered ‘a particularly strong sales performance’ in funds.

However, the group’s profit missed the $3.8bn estimate of 16 analysts, as compiled by the London-headquartered bank.

The bank, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, also announced a $750m share repurchase programme and a dividend of 12 cents per share, which is almost 33% more than 2020.

The bank operating expenses for the year rose by 5% to $10.92bn, while operating income was almost flat at $14.7bn.

StanChart, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, said it will invest a further $300m in China to better compete with rivals like HSBC and increase market share.

To boost overall profitability, the bank announced plans to cut nearly $500m in expenses from its consumer banking division.

Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters said: “Our performance in the second half of 2021, and into this year, gives us confidence that we are on track to achieve our strategic and financial objectives.

“We saw a return to income growth, which we believe signals the start of a sustainable recovery, and we finished the year with good business momentum in Financial Markets, Trade and Wealth Management. Good cost discipline allowed us to generate positive income-to-cost jaws in the second half of the year.”