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Factbox-Global big banks plot back-to-office plans as vaccines roll out

(Reuters) – The biggest banks in the world plan to re-open their offices, emboldened by aggressive vaccination drives and falling COVID-19 cases in major financial hubs, after sending most employees home early last year to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Banks globally are adopting different methods to ensure a successful back to office plan including hybrid working models and vaccination drives.

Here is the state of play with back-to-office plans in various regions:

UNITED STATES

Wells Fargo & Co

The bank said in March it plans to start bringing workers back to its offices after Labor Day due to the increasing availability of vaccines. The company is evaluating whether to allow certain businesses or functional subgroups in the United States to return to the workplace before Labor Day.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc

The bank is planning to bring U.S. employees back to the office by mid-June.

JPMorgan Chase & Co

The largest U.S. bank will bring its employees in the United States back to the office on a rotational basis from July and plans to maintain a 50% occupancy cap during the return-to-office phase.

The bank also plans to step up the return of all of its employees in England to working at least part of their week in its offices from June 21.

Citigroup Inc

Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said in a memo in March that post-pandemic, most of the employees would be able to work in a “hybrid” setting, allowing them to work from home for up to two days a week.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Barclays Plc

Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley has said the bank will adopt a hybrid working model, and will reduce its real estate footprint but maintain its main offices in London and New York.

HSBC Holdings Plc

HSBC has said it plans to cut its global office footprint by around 40% as it moves to a hybrid working model for most employees. The lender moved 1,200 call center staff in Britain to permanent home working contracts, Reuters reported in April, going further than some rivals in cementing changes to working patterns.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc

Britain’s biggest domestic bank is hoping to resume office-based trials and experiments with around 5,000 of its staff this summer, once government restrictions allow. The lender has said it plans to cut 20% of its office space over two years.

Standard Chartered Plc

StanChart said it will make permanent the flexible working arrangements introduced during the pandemic, and that it could cut a third of its office space in the next three to four years.

NatWest

Chief Executive Officer Alison Rose has said the bank is likely to adopt a hybrid working model, but has stressed offices will remain important as a place to bring people together to collaborate.

GERMANY

Deutsche Bank

Germany’s largest lender said it is following a regional approach to the pandemic and return to the office issues, reflecting the different situations in individual countries, in line with government guidance in individual jurisdictions.

SWITZERLAND

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse in July 2020 launched a global program evaluating various work-from-home options, which are expected to shape its post-pandemic working models. It has been monitoring and adapting work arrangements since launching work-from-home globally in March 2020, taking into account local guidelines.

UBS

UBS Chairman Axel Weber in May said flexibility would remain part of work arrangements at Switzerland’s biggest bank going forward, where roles allow. Return to office plans vary from region to region, in accordance with local government guidelines.

Source: Company statements

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru, Iain Withers and Lawrence White in London, Tom Sims in Frankfurt and Oliver Hirt in Zurich; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Shailesh Kuber)

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