Omicron is concerned about stopping the reopening of banking exchanges

Exchanges are thinning out due to growing anxiety about the Omicron coronavirus variant, in a setback for Wall Street firms that have been pushing to reopen their offices.

Traders were some of the first financial workers to return to the office last year. In the past, banking executives have emphasized that compliance risks from remote work as well as an exchange’s inability to regenerate energy and teamwork are most likely the reason why. star traders bring back to the office relatively quickly after the pandemic broke out.

The likes of JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Citadel Securities, a leading market maker, have given employees more flexibility to work from home in recent days as long as they are not deemed “essential” ,’ according to people familiar with the matter. .

In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, seen by the Financial Times, Citadel told employees that the company would resume regular office work on January 3. During that week, Citadel will ask employees to take a quick Covid test before going to the office and take the PCR test three times. The Royal Bank of Canada informed employees on Thursday that office work requirements will be relaxed for most employees until January 17, according to a memo seen by the FT.

Other Wall Street firms are holding firm to their stance on working from home policies, which have become more flexible over the past year. Bank of America has yet to send out any memos encouraging employees to work from home, and bankers at those companies say they don’t expect an employee to come to work.

Bank of America is providing other means for employees to feel more comfortable coming to work, such as offering enhanced on-site clinics in each of the bank’s key markets starting next month.

However, in general, exchanges are starting to get less crowded, according to traders and customers who call them frequently. This is partly due to the cases of Covid in the teams but also because many people have made efforts to avoid infection close to the festival.

Bank offices are expected to become more desolate next week with many people absent from the season. Most banks encourage employees to quit after a year of non-stop work for the market.

When Covid first launched in March 2020, it was watched At the time it was the largest test of physical infrastructure for transactions since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

This time around, banks are more optimistic because of last year’s relatively smooth experience. However, some traders fear that widespread working from home will exacerbate the ever-worsening trading situation in the second half of December, when festivals and the reluctance of many investors to accept. Taking risks before the end of the year can generate higher returns – normal movements.

According to Charlie McElligott, a strategist at Nomura, the “illiquidity” at the end of the year had “exacerbated the mayhem” in the stock market. Ian Lyngen, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, also warned clients on Friday that deteriorating liquidity conditions are affecting the bond market.

Wall Street was also reminded of the pitfalls of remote work on Friday as US regulators announced a record $200 million strong to JPMorgan after the US bank failed to keep employees’ contact records on personal devices.

Compliance control and document preservation among employees has become more difficult during the pandemic with employees working remotely. The Securities and Exchange Commission is one of the agencies that is also investigating additional record-keeping issues at other financial firms.

https://www.ft.com/content/d166b7f3-962b-4a66-a252-4f46285fdc21 Omicron is concerned about stopping the reopening of banking exchanges

Ian Walker

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