Big banks brace for the coronavirus

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Many of the City of London’s biggest institutions are taking steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday many of JPMorgan’s UK-based staff are being temporarily moved to a different office. They’re not alone.

Goldman Sachs last week sent around 200 members of staff to test a site in Croydon, South London for the day to ensure the systems worked effectively.

Many of these measures by some of the world’s biggest banks follow the events that took place at HSBC last week.

HSBC sent home more than 100 staff from the tenth floor of its Canary Wharf offices on Thursday. The move came after one staff member, who was part of the research division, returned from Asia and was diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus.

However, the nature of the job for some financial institutions means that working from home is not an option for many staff at most of the large investment banks such as JP Morgan or its rival Goldman Sachs.

That’s because most traders and salespeople need to sit together on a trading floor which is monitored in order to meet regulatory rules.

Goldman Sachs hasn’t activated its coronavirus contingency plan just yet but if the need arises the bank says it is ready to act.

Read more via BBC

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