By IR Web Report Staff
Shareholders of Standard Chartered PLC have hit the jackpot.
According to the UK bank’s website, they received a dividend of $64 million for each share they owned in 2005.
Here’s the proof:
The first screenshot shows that in the first half of 2005, each shareholder received $18.94 million dollars per share.
The second screenshot shows that this was followed in the second half by a dividend of $46.06 million per share for a total payout of $64 million for each share of the company they owned.
Okay, that’s obviously a mistake. Perhaps the table below the graph has the correct information. It says last year’s dividend was $64 per share (see below). That’s sound more reasonable, doesn’t it?
But wait, that’s not right either! On another page of the company’s website we’re told the total dividend for 2005 was actually just 64 cents (see below).
For the record, the graph and table at issue were provided to Standard Chartered by vendor Shareholder.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.
Of course, it’s ultimately Standard Chartered PLC’s responsibility to review the information it puts on its website. In this case, the company obviously slipped up.
Sign of poor website management
While this example is one of the more bizarre situations we’ve seen recently, it is not uncommon for us to find similar evidence of poor site management. Many companies are still trying to work out how best to handle managing their websites.
Typically, sites are managed part-time by one individual in the IR department who is supported by an external vendor like Shareholder.com or Thomson Financial. This provides too little internal monitoring and quality control over the company’s website and raises the risk of mistakes happening.
At some companies, IR departments receive support from internal web departments. Our experience is that sites with greater internal overisight — by a dedicated IR employee or by an inhouse web communications department — tend to be managed most effectively and have the fewest errors.