Standard Chartered India on Tuesday reported 16 per cent drop in its 2012 pre-tax profit at USD 676 million due to lower corporate activity and currency fluctuations, but its coveted position as the third largest profit centre for its British parent is intact.

StanC Regional Chief Executive for India & South Asia, Sunil Kaushal, while announcing the numbers here, blamed decline in operating profit to the poor macroeconomic conditions in the country, which saw its cash-cow business of wholesale banking getting impacted.

“The performance was impacted by a difficult macro environment, combined with lower corporate activity and currency headwinds,” Mr Kaushal said, adding that in constant currency terms, the drop is only 4 per cent.

Notably, between 2011 and 2012, the rupee declined a steep 15 per cent against the US currency. The average rupee-dollar exchange rate was 46.63 to the dollar in 2011 against 53.43 in 2012, he said.

For the group as a whole, income grows 8 per cent to USD 19.07 billion, led by wholesale banking income of USD 11.78 billion, taking the operating profit to USD 6.9 billion, up just 1 per cent over 2011, Mr Kaushal said.

Mr Kaushal said India operations retained the coveted position of the third largest profit centre for its Asia-focused parent, after Hong Kong and Singapore, with a revenue share of a little over 10 per cent.

He also said despite rising bad loans in the domestic banking system, the StanC reported lower impairment charges which declined to USD 156 million in the reporting period from USD 172 million a year ago. As the portion of its total loan book, the impairment charges stood 9 per cent, he said.

Total income of the oldest foreign bank in India also declined 12 per cent to USD 1,585 million, from USD 1,805 million in 2011.

The bank’s operating profit before impairment also declined 15 per cent from USD 976 million to USD 832 million, which would have been only 4 per cent but for the rupee depreciation.