With tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Square announcing that a large portion of its employees will work from home permanently, the US banking industry is deciding whether to follow the trend of keeping its employees remote, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the US, has almost 200,000 employees currently working remotely. According to Bloomberg News, the company found that its traders managed about three times the typical trading volume while working from home, making it possible that a large percentage of employees may remain permanent remote workers to save costs on leasing office space.
However, Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan believes the customers will still prefer “to conduct business face to face.” According to Moynihan on an interview with NPR, 875,000 people came into Bank of America’s 4,300 branches on a single business day that week. The company previously faced backlash for not allowing certain positions such as traders to work from home, the Financial Times reported. But by the end of March, Moynihan said that Bank of America had sent about 90,000 laptops to its employees in the USfor remote working. The company had not revealed whether workers will stay remote in the future, though Moynihan said the company had hired 2,000 employees in March, and also had committed publicly to not laying off any of its 200,000 workers in 2020.
Another option one of the largest US banks is considering is moving out of hotspots for the pandemic, such as densely-packed cities. Citigroup is currently researching options of opening satellite offices in the suburbs outside of New York City, Bloomberg News reported. The bank is in preliminary discussions regarding office leases on Long Island, Westchester and suburbs in New Jersey.
Wells Fargo informed employees in early May that the work-from-home scenario would likely last through the end of June. The company has about 200,000 employees working remotely, with 65,000 still reporting physically to jobs at bank branches or operation centers.
Capital One plans to keep its employees working from home until Sept. 7, and employees will receive six weeks’ notice before an office location re-opens for employees.