Citigroup to Bring 600 Staff Back to Hong Kong Office This Week

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(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. said it will allow an additional 600 staff to resume working from their Hong Kong premises on Wednesday after the city relaxed social-distancing curbs amid an overall reduction in the number of new coronavirus infections.

The bank will implement a new phase of its return-to-site strategy by reducing its work-from-home staff from 65% to about 50%, according to an internal memo. New York-based Citigroup will also enhance precautionary measures, including having employees keep a 2-meter distance between each other “as much as possible” and urging them to stagger their commute to work and lunch breaks to avoid crowding.

James Griffiths, a Hong Kong-based spokesman, confirmed the contents of the email.

Citigroup is joining other Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley in returning to offices, after the Asian finance hub earlier this month moved to loosen curbs on social gatherings and reopen shuttered schools in stages. Hong Kong, which has largely contained the local spread of the virus with only 1,055 cases and just four deaths since the crisis began, recently went 23 days straight without any community transmission of Covid-19.

Like other banks, Citigroup had implemented flexible work arrangement for more than three months. Even so, it helped raise over $10 billion from global capital markets for Hong Kong clients, including taking Li & Fung Ltd. private, according to Griffiths.

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