The world’s largest banks plan to reopen their offices, emboldened by aggressive vaccination campaigns and declining COVID-19 cases in major financial centers, after sending most employees home early last year to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Banks around the world are adopting different methods to ensure a successful return to office plan, including hybrid work models and vaccination campaigns. Here is the status of return-to-office plans in different regions:
UNITED STATES Wells Fargo & Co
U.S. home-based bank staff will begin to resume their duties from Sept. 7 and the process will continue through October, COO Scott Powell told employees in a note viewed by Reuters. Returns to the office will be organized by function and workplace. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
The bank planned to get the American workers back to the office by mid-June. JPMorgan Chase & Co
The largest U.S. bank will return its U.S. employees to the office on a rotational basis starting in July and plans to maintain a 50% occupancy cap during the return-to-office phase. The bank also plans to speed up the return of all its employees in England to work for at least part of their week in its offices from June 21.
Citigroup Inc CEO Jane Fraser said in a note in March that after the pandemic most employees could work in a “hybrid” setting, allowing them to work from home for up to two days a week.
Morgan Stanley The bank’s chief executive, James Gorman, said if most of the employees did not return to work at the bank’s Manhattan headquarters in September, he would be “very disappointed.”
Gorman said his bank’s policy will vary by location, noting that the company’s 2,000 employees in India will not be returning to their offices this year. Bank staff and customers will not be allowed into its New York City offices if they are not fully vaccinated, according to a source familiar with the matter. Employees, customers and visitors will need to attest to being fully immunized to access the bank’s offices in New York and Westchester, the source said.
Bank of America Corp The lender expects all of its vaccinated employees to return to the office after Labor Day in early September, and will then focus on developing plans to bring unvaccinated workers back to its sites, the bank said. Managing Director Brian Moynihan https: // bloom.bg/3gyALn3 Bloomberg News in an interview.
UNITED KINGDOM Barclays
CEO Jes Staley said the bank will adopt a hybrid working model and reduce its real estate footprint while retaining its main offices in London and New York. HSBC Holdings
HSBC has announced plans to reduce its global office footprint by around 40% by switching to a hybrid work model for most employees. The lender moved 1,200 call center workers in Britain to permanent work-from-home contracts, Reuters reported in April, going further than some rivals in consolidating changes in working patterns. Lloyds Banking Group
Britain’s largest national bank hopes to resume testing and experiments in its offices with around 5,000 of its employees this summer, once government restrictions allow. The lender has announced plans to cut 20% of its offices over two years. Standard Chartered
StanChart said it would make the flexible working arrangements introduced during the pandemic permanent and could downsize a third of its offices over the next three to four years. NatWest
CEO Alison Rose said the bank will likely adopt a hybrid working model, but stressed that offices will remain important as a place where people come together to collaborate. GERMANY
Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank in London plans to bring back more staff from June 21, assuming the city’s lockdown restrictions are relaxed, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Germany’s largest lender has also told its investment bankers in the United States that it expects them to return to work no later than Labor Day, according to a memo viewed by Reuters. The bank said earlier it was taking a regional approach to the pandemic and returning to office issues, reflecting the different situations in each country. SWISS
Credit Suisse Credit Suisse launched a global program in July 2020 evaluating various work-from-home options, which are expected to shape its post-pandemic working models. It has been monitoring and adapting working arrangements since the global launch of working from home in March 2020, taking into account local guidelines.
UBS chairman Axel Weber said in May that flexibility will continue to be part of working arrangements at Switzerland’s largest bank, where roles permit. Plans to return to the office vary from region to region, in accordance with local government guidelines.
CANADA Bank of Canada
The central bank will allow most of its staff to remotely clock in for up to half their working hours once public health guidelines allow it to fully reopen offices, a spokesperson said. The bank plans to bring back many employees after the summer, but it doesn’t see conditions returning to normal until 2022, according to a Bloomberg News report. https://bloom.bg/3kL8Dj2
The Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest lender, is exploring a flexible and hybrid work regime to bring its employees back to the office, said CEO David McKay.
Source: company statements, memo, sources, media reports
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