Citigroup traders joins other banks in coronavirus precaution
A man runs past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Hundreds of Wall Street traders are about to change their commute starting Monday.
Citigroup is sending traders and salespeople from its headquarters in downtown Manhattan to a backup facility in Rutherford, New Jersey, next week in contingency plans tied to the coronavirus, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Wall Street is girding itself for the arrival of the coronavirus in its workforce. JPMorgan Chase told traders Thursday that some of them can expect to work from locations in New Jersey and Brooklyn, while Morgan Stanley has begun to send some employees to its Purchase, New York, office, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
Bank of America is sending more than 100 of its traders and salespeople to a Connecticut location, although most of them will remain in the firm’s midtown Manhattan headquarters, a person with knowledge said. Goldman Sachs is weighing a similar plan to split up its teams, along with other options, although it has yet to take action, another person said.
Banks have already banned nonessential international travel and urged employees to make sure they can work from home if needed. But the companies have been forced to take more serious action as the disease has progressed.
There are 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York as of Friday, with several thousand under precautionary quarantine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
While most employees can work from home, sales and trading professionals need workstations with robust trading and compliance capabilities. The idea is to split teams up so that business lines can remain operational if the coronavirus sickens employees at one location, the people said.
Widening concerns over the impact of the coronavirus have roiled markets for the last week. That’s led to increased activity across equities and fixed income desks, meaning that traders will likely have their hands full for the foreseeable future.