Wall Street banks stick to return-to-work plans while monitoring Omicron

FILE PHOTO: A sign outside the JP Morgan Chase & Co office. in New York
FILE PHOTO: A sign outside the offices of JP Morgan Chase & Co. seen in New York City, USA, March 29, 2021. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

November 29, 2021

By Noor Zainab Hussain and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall

(Reuters) – Wall Street banks did not immediately change their plans to reopen in the United States in response to the new COVID-19 variant, but they are monitoring the situation, they said.

As more countries report cases, the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron carries a “very high” risk of a spike globally, the World Health Organization said. However, scientists say it can take weeks to understand its severity.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a COVID-19 declaration of a “catastrophic emergency” on Friday, citing growing rates of infection and hospitalizations and the threat posed by a new, unresolved variant. discovered in the United States.

Driven by mass vaccinations and falling COVID-19 cases in major financial centers, banks have pushed ahead with plans to bring workers back to the US and other offices globally. , although at different speeds.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were the most active. Goldman and JPMorgan have had most workers return to the office on a rotation basis since the summer.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman pushed during the summer for workers to return, though insiders say the stance has softened since.

Others, such as Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America have taken a more flexible stance.

Wells Fargo pushed back its plans to return to the office from January 2022, while Citigroup employees in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC have been in the office at least two days a week since the date. September 13.

Bank of America has allowed vaccinated employees back into its offices since early September, while encouraging other employees to get vaccinated.

Spokesmen for the six banks said their plans were unchanged for now, with some adding that they would continue to monitor the situation and consult with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ky.

“We will continue to pursue science as we have since the beginning,” a Wells Fargo spokesperson said. “Our number one priority is the safety of our employees and customers.”

(Additional reporting by Matt Scuffman; Writing by Michelle Price; Editing by Bill Berkrot) Wall Street banks stick to return-to-work plans while monitoring Omicron

Bobby Allyn

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