HSBC, Bank of America and UBS urge new work routines for Hong Kong staff
Large financiers have urged new work routines for their Hong Kong offices, as the city-state imposes a two-week Covid-19 circuit breaker.
Tightened restrictions from January 8 to January 21 will see flights grounded from the UK, as well as the US, Canada, Australia, France, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
HSBC, which employs some 30,000 people in the global finance hub, will only have a half of its staff at most, in its offices from Friday.
Bank of America has encouraged staff to work from home beyond the two-weeks, from January 7 to January 24, according to Reuters.
While the UBS Group has told its 2,400 Hong Kong staff to split into two groups, with each taking it turns to return to workplaces.
The former British colony recorded 38 new cases on Wednesday, which prompted Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to put emergency restrictions in place.
“We’re yet to see a fifth wave yet, but we’re on the verge,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told reporters yesterday. “We are worried there may be silent transmission chains in the community.”
The city had gone some three months without any community cases of Covid-19 until December 31.
The tough stance on the virus has resulted in low case numbers, but has also scuppered business in the global finance hub.
Delivery giant Fedex confirmed in November that it would be stepping out of the city, relocating its pilots as a result of the strict measures. While JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon also suggested late last year that it impedes on business by creating a more difficult hiring environment.