Standard Chartered PLC on Wednesday (26 April) reported a pre-tax profit of $990m (£772m) for the first quarter. The number is almost double the $500m the bank made in the first quarter of 2016.

The bank stated that increased cost efficiency and fall in bad loans had greatly contributed to the sharp rise in pre-tax profits.

Improved cost control also helped in boosting the profit. The Group has also planned for an additional $1.1bn in gross cost efficiencies by the end of 2018.

Loan impairment had also reduced by 71% from last quarter to $198m.

Despite the improvement in credit quality and a lower scenario of loan impairments, the bank stated that it would remain cautious about market credit conditions.

The central & other items client segment division, which includes the asset and liability Management division, generated the largest quarterly income increase of 107% to $367m. The corporate & institutional banking showed an income increase of 4% to $1,623m.

Income from the Greater China & North Asia region registered the greatest increase of 8% in year-on-year income to $1,381m. Growth in the retail banking and private banking divisions were identified as key drivers for the growth.

Overall, the bank had reported an 8% increase in year-on-year income to $3.6bn.

"We are making good progress improving the performance of the Group", said Group Chief Executive Bill Winters.

"The significantly increased profit before tax results from particularly low loan impairment and our focus on cost control. Competition in our markets remains intense but our investments in the business and focus on our clients is making us more competitive and will enable us to deliver sustainable income growth over time."

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently raised concerns about the ability of European banks to maintain sustainable profits in its annual Global Financial Stability Report.