Goldman Sachs leads US banks in their return to the office

February 1, 2022

FILE PHOTO: A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed on the New York Stock Exchange January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Por Matt Scuffham y Noor Zainab Hussain

Feb 1 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs staff hired from the U.S. returned to the office for the first time this year on Tuesday, with competitor banks set to follow in coming days as COVID-19 cases decline.

Wall Street firms were among the first to encourage staff to return to offices, but the winter surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the omicron variant caused many to rethink their plans and advise staff to work from home for the duration. holidays and until January.

Many bank employees are returning to the office for the first time in weeks.

Staff at Jefferies, the first big Wall Street bank to instruct employees to work from home in December, returned to the office Monday.

CEO Rich Handler offered a special reward: a Monday night dinner for the first seven employees to respond via his Instagram account, provided they had received a booster shot, were born in 1992 or later, and they would have been in the office that day.

Morgan Stanley is encouraging employees to return this month, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. JPMorgan, the country’s largest bank, expects staff to return to the office on a rotating basis this month, a spokesman said.

“It’s great to be back,” said an employee of the US bank, who asked not to be named.

Next Monday, Citigroup will once again require New York-area employees to report to the office at least twice a week. Bank of America began bringing staff back to offices last week in areas of the United States where new COVID-19 cases have begun to decline.

Citi was the first bank, and so far the only one, to require staff to be vaccinated or laid off unless they have an exemption.

Nearly all staff have met this requirement, a person familiar with the matter said.

European banks are also bringing their employees back to their offices in the United States.

BNP Paribas employees will start returning to the office next Monday. Deutsche Bank staff were reinstated on Monday and will have to submit a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the office, a person familiar with the matter said. From now on, they will have to test for the virus once a week, and the bank has increased testing in its offices for this, the source said.

(Additional reporting by David Henry; Editing by Bernadette Baum; Translation by Flora Gómez)