History and Development of Standard Chartered Bank

Global Network

Standard Chartered Bank (Headquartered in London, England, trading as Standard Chartered PLC) is a major international bank with a worldwide business network in over 70 countries.

The Birth of Standard Chartered Bank

The Standard Chartered Bank was established in 1969 from a merger between the Standard Bank of British South Africa and the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China.

Chartered Bank

The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China quickly established branches across Asia and provided financing for local companies. In 1862, the bank received a Hong Kong license to issue banknotes for the Hong Kong dollar and various other Asian currencies. Today Standard Chartered Bank is one of only three banks issuing banknotes for Hong Kong.

Standard Bank in Japan

The Standard Bank of British South Africa began operations in South Africa and aggressively expanded into several African countries and later established branches in Asia. The first Japan office was established in 1880 in Yokohama. Many bank staff lost their lives in the Great Tokyo Earthquake of 1923. The bank operations were also significantly affected by the Second World War. In 1949, the Ministry of Finance granted a business license to conduct banking operations.

Post-War Progress

After the Second World war, both banks continued to build their global networks through strategic mergers and expansion of their operations while many Asian and African countries achieved independence. The Standard Chartered Bank was established in 1969 through a friendly merger between the two banks and they later established a presence in Britain through an acquisition of a British financial institution. Many branches were also established in Europe, North and South America.

The 1980's

In 1980, Standard Chartered Bank leveraged the stable foundation built in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and focused on its core business of Consumer finance, Corporate Finance and Treasury services. The bank quickly became the leading financial institution, particularly in Europe, America and Africa. The group also underwent a major restructuring, significantly changing the management ranks and further strengthening core operations.

The 1990's

In the 1990's, more branch offices were established in Asia and South America. Standard Chartered Bank now has operations in every country in Asia Pacific except North Korea.


Today, Standard Chartered Bank is a leading international bank offering world-class finance services via an extensive business network in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We leverage our unique knowledge acquired through many years of experience in each region and strive to be "The Right Partner" to our corporate clients, offering top-class services to assist investment in rapidly growing emerging markets.

We continue to build on a foundation of organic growth through our core business, and conduct strategic acquisitions. In February, 2008, we acquired American Express Bank. Through this merger of two top-class banks, we will be able to rapidly improve the quality and range of our products and services.

History of Standard Chartered Bank

Visit our global site for a comprehensive, interactive history detailing key events and acquisitions.


First Branch in Yokohama

Outside view of the first branch in Yokohama which opened for business in 1880

Business License by the Ministry of Finance

The business license to conduct banking operations issued by the Ministry of Finance on December 28th, 1949

Marble Vault Imported from England

Marble vault imported from England (Yokohama Branch, 1949)

The Standard Chartered Building in Hong Kong Central

The Standard Chartered building in Hong Kong Central, 1970's

Sanno Park Tower in Tokyo

Sanno Park Tower in Tokyo


Our Global Presence

We've operated for over 150 years in some of the world's fastest-growing markets. We aim to lead the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Learn about our global business »

Here for good

Here for good is the essence who we are. It's about sticking by our clients and customers through good times and bad, and always trying to do the right thing.

Find out how we are Here for good »

Back to Top