BMO Delays Investment Bankers’ Office Return a Month to November
(Bloomberg) -- Bank of Montreal pushed back plans to bring back employees in its investment and corporate banking division by at least a month as Covid-19’s highly contagious delta variant upends return-to-office schedules across the finance industry.
The Toronto-based company is now planning for staffers in the unit to come back in November, with the potential to delay their return further, according to a memo Monday to staffers in North America. Bank of Montreal originally targeted October for its return-to-office plans as it moves New York employees into a new building. Staffers currently in New York will be asked to work remotely from Sept. 20 to Oct. 8.
“With Covid-19 continuing to be an evolving situation, many of our regions are impacted in different ways,” Alan Tannenbaum, head of global investment and corporate banking, said in the memo. “We’re focused on being flexible and adapting quickly to the changing landscape to protect our colleagues and clients.”
Concerns about the delta variant are causing companies and governments to rethink the safety of allowing unvaccinated employees to return to offices. Some have reinstated policies that require employees who have been coming in to wear masks. On Friday, Bank of Montreal was among the big Canadian banks that began requiring returning staff to be fully vaccinated.
“With vaccines becoming accessible in North America we are starting to look at return-to-work opportunities,” bank spokesperson Paul Gammal said in an email Tuesday, adding that since early summer some U.S.-based teams have been returning to the office in hybrid-work models.
Bank of Montreal asked its employees to complete a survey and detail their vaccination status by Sept. 8, according to Monday’s memo. The lender said it’s focused on a “flexible work model” by “balancing working in the office and remotely.”
Many Wall Street firms have been reworking their plans, either pushing back dates they expect staffers to return or requiring workers to get Covid-19 vaccines. Bank of Montreal is requiring employees in North America to be vaccinated by Oct. 31.
The firm can use 50% of its floor capacity following current physical-distancing protocols, Tannenbaum said in the memo. “Returning to the office is a complex undertaking and we ask your patience and flexibility,” he wrote.
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