Standard Chartered Slashes Singapore Workspace By 50%
SINGAPORE – In what is poised to be the largest office space reduction by a financial firm in the city-state in the past few years, sources disclosed that London-based bank Standard Chartered intends to reduce its current office space in Singapore’s central business district (CBD) by about half, according to recent reports from Bloomberg and Reuters.
Overall, the financial firm plans to surrender up to 9 office floors it’s presently renting at the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1, revealed sources who requested anonymity as the information is private.
Previously, it was reported by Bloomberg in April 2021 that Standard Chartered was looking to slash its workspace in Singapore’s financial district by a minimum of 4 office floors.
Sources revealed that with the bigger office space reduction, the staff of Standard Chartered may not have their own desks and may have to book their spots. In addition, one of the insiders shared that the financial firm’s present lease in MBFC Tower 1 will expire in October 2022.
Still, a representative from the bank stated that Singapore remains a “critical global hub” for Standard Chartered and the city-state remains one of its “most important” markets.
“We continue to retain a significant presence in MBFC and our two buildings in Changi Business Park, and constantly review and enhance our workplace environment to support new ways of working.”
“With 80 percent of our Singapore-based employees adopting flexible work arrangements, we are reinvesting in and refreshing our premises to create a more open, conducive and collaborative environment,” added the spokesperson.
The reduction of StanChart’s office space in the city-state makes it the largest downsizing of workspace among financial firms in Singapore in recent years. Citigroup has already relinquished 3 of its office floors to e-commerce giant Amazon, while Mizuho Financial Group has also slashed some office space.
Notably, financial institutions across the globe are facing difficulties in urging their employees to return to the office amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, merely 3 percent of white-collar staff want to go to their workplace 5 days per week, based on a recent survey, which warned that workers would resign if their bosses compel them to return to the office full time.