Standard Chartered announced a 11% rise to $6.8bn (£4.26bn) in 2011 profits for the ninth successive year, thanks to its exposure to the fast-growing Asian markets as it achieved more than 75% of its profits in Asia.
Growth was particularly strong in Singapore and Hong Kong, although in two of its other major markets, India and South Korea, profits fell.
Staff costs rose by 15%, with underlying wage inflation at 5%.
Companies operating in Asia are increasingly having to pay higher salaries to attract staff.
“Yes, we are facing acute competition for talent, but we are still managing to invest and keep a tight grip on costs,” said Standard Chartered’s chief executive Peter Sands to BBC.
He said the bank paid about £800m in bonuses to staff for 2011, in line with the amount paid out in 2010.