Standard Chartered was formed in 1969 through a merger of two banks: The Standard Bank of British South Africa, founded in 1863, and the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, founded in 1853.Both companies were keen to capitalise on the huge expansion of trade and to earn the handsome profits to be made from financing the movement of goods between Europe, Asia and Africa.From the early 1990s, Standard Chartered has focused on developing its strong franchises in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has concentrated on consumer, corporate and institutional banking and on the provision of treasury services - areas in which the Group had particular strength and expertise.Since 2000 the Bank has achieved several milestones with a number of strategic alliances and acquisitions, which have extended the customer and geographic reach and broadened the product range that Standard Chartered offers.Leading by example to be the right partner for its stakeholders, the Group is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term that is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. It employs over 70,000 people, nearly half of whom are women, The Group`s employees are of 125 nationalities, of which 68 are represented among senior management.Standard Chartered PLC, Listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, ranks among the top 25 companies in the FTSE-100 by market capitalisation. The London-headquartered Group has operated for over 150 years in some of the world`s most dynamic markets, leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its income and profits have more than doubled over the last few years primarily as a result of organic growth, supplemented by acquisitions.